The Texas criminal justice system takes a particularly harsh stance on driving while intoxicated. After a fatal drunk driving accident in Richardson, you could face felony intoxication manslaughter charges, which could put you in prison for decades.
Before you make any decisions or give a statement to the police, talk to an intoxication manslaughter lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your case and discuss your options. Call us today at 214-696-9253.
Severe Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter in Richardson, Texas
If you drive drunk and cause a fatal accident, you will face intoxication manslaughter charges – a second-degree felony.
The Texas Penal Code (TPC) establishes the penalties for a second-degree felony conviction as follows:
- Two to 20 years in prison
- Up to a $10,000 fine
- Up to 800 hours of community service
- Up to two years’ suspension of your driver’s license
Upon conviction for intoxication manslaughter in Richardson, the judge may also require you attend substance abuse counseling or go to rehab. You will have to install a breathalyzer on your vehicle and potentially pay restitution to the victim’s family. You will also have responsibility for all court costs and fees.
If you have prior convictions for driving while intoxicated (DWI), or if you had any aggravating factors related to your drunk driving accident, the prosecutor can pursue first-degree felony charges. Upon conviction, you could face five to 99 years (life) in prison.
Aggravating factors that can increase the severity of your charge include:
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 or above
- An open container of alcohol in your vehicle
- A passenger age 14 or younger in your vehicle
You will also face first-degree felony intoxication manslaughter charges if the victim was a law enforcement officer, EMT, firefighter, or another type of first responder.
An intoxication manslaughter conviction could potentially interfere with your ability to get a job, rent a home, obtain (or retain) professional licensure, or obtain affordable car insurance. A felony conviction can prevent you from serving on a jury, voting, or possessing a firearm. In fact, you may never again hold a simple hunting license as a result.
An intoxication manslaughter lawyer in Richardson can help you understand the nature of your drunk driving accident charges and explain your potential options.
A Richardson, Texas Lawyer Can Fight for Your Rights & Future
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we understand how frightening and confusing these circumstances can be. But, more important, we also understand that the police and prosecutor sometimes wrongly accuse people of a serious crime – like intoxication manslaughter.
We will go to work immediately, analyzing the circumstances of your arrest and looking for potential problems that could, left unchallenged, lead to your wrongful conviction. We will use any problems we find as leverage to negotiate with the prosecutor. For many clients, we successfully get their intoxication manslaughter charges reduced or even dismissed.
We will be there for you at every stage, protecting your legal rights and fighting passionately on your behalf. We will answer your questions and ensure that you understand your options and how they might affect your future – and your freedom.
Understanding Your Texas Intoxication Manslaughter Charges
To prove intoxicated manslaughter charges, the prosecutor has the burden of proving the following four elements:
- You were intoxicated (a BAC of 0.08 or above)
- You drove a motor vehicle in a public place
- You consequently caused a car accident
- Someone died as a result of the accident
The police can arrest you even without confirmation of your BAC if an officer believes you lacked the mental or physical ability to drive. You could face intoxication manslaughter charges due to drug use as well as alcohol consumption.
The victim could have been a passenger in another vehicle, a passenger in your car, a bicyclist, a pedestrian, or an innocent bystander.
You can also face intoxication manslaughter charges if you operated a boat, flew a plane, or worked an amusement park ride drunk and, as a result, someone lost their life in an accident.
If more than one person died, or if someone else suffered severe injuries in your drunk driving accident, you will potentially face multiple charges.
Legal Defense Strategies in an Intoxication Manslaughter Case
Frequently, innocent people face serious felony charges for DWI manslaughter, thanks to errors made by the police or someone responsible for conducting chemical testing for BAC.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we know that clients can wrongly face serious intoxication manslaughter charges. We are committed to protecting your legal rights and uncovering any potential errors in your case. Our legal team will develop a criminal defense strategy based on the facts of your case. However, some inherent challenges to intoxication manslaughter charges include the following:
Questioning the Results of Chemical BAC Testing
If the chemical testing used to establish your BAC failed to adhere to governing standards and procedures, we may successfully invalidate the results or have the tests declared inadmissible in court.
Questioning Fault for a DWI Accident
Even if cannot demonstrate a problem with chemical BAC testing results, we can challenge your fault in the subsequent accident or wreck. The fact that you drove while intoxicated does not necessarily prove that you caused an accident.
Questioning the Cause of Death
Even if your BAC test results stand and the prosecutor can demonstrate that your drunk driving led to an accident, we can challenge the accident as the cause of the victim’s death.
The prosecutor carries a high burden of proof in a case as serious as intoxication manslaughter. If we cannot successfully negotiate the reduction or dismissal of your charges, we can mount the strongest possible criminal DWI defense in court.
Free Intoxication Manslaughter Lawyer Consultation for Richardson Clients
Unless you stand ready to spend years or decades behind bars, consider challenging your intoxication manslaughter charges. At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, our legal team understands how to build the strongest possible case in your defense, and we will work hard to protect your future.
We offer a no-cost legal consultation and case evaluation, to answer your questions and explain your options. Call us today at 214-696-9253 to schedule your appointment with an intoxication manslaughter lawyer in Richardson, Texas.