Intoxication manslaughter is a criminal charge levied in Texas when a person is accused of causing the death of another person while carrying out certain activities under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The most common situation that leads to an intoxication manslaughter charge is a drunk driving accident that results in one or more deaths. You can also face the charge if you are accused of operating a watercraft, aircraft, or amusement park ride or building a mobile park ride under the influence, and someone dies as a direct result of your alleged drug or alcohol-related negligence.
Because intoxication manslaughter is a felony charge, a conviction can reverberate the rest of your life, which can make it difficult to maintain a job, rent an apartment, or even find a romantic partner. Remember, according to Sec. 49.01 of the Texas Statutes, felony convictions are public record in Texas. Anyone can see them at any time. A Denton intoxication manslaughter lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you fight the charge to avoid a conviction and stay out of jail.
We offer a free consultation and look forward to getting to work for you. Call us for more information at (214) 696-9253.
Intoxication Manslaughter Charges in Denton, Texas, Can Lead to Felonies
Intoxication manslaughter refers to a list of scenarios in which a person directly or indirectly causes the death of another person due to alcohol or drug inebriation. You can be charged with intoxication manslaughter if you are suspected of doing any of the following, while under the influence, and someone else dies as a result:
- Driving a motor vehicle on a public roadway
- Operating a watercraft, aircraft, or amusement park ride
- Building or helping build a mobile amusement park or carnival ride
Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony that carries substantial criminal penalties. You can go to jail for many years and be forced to pay an oppressive fine. Yet the real damage from a felony conviction comes after you serve your time and try to return to your normal life.
With a felony on your record, you could be barred from many jobs. Even with “ban the box” initiatives—campaigns to prevent employers from asking on a job application whether a person has criminal convictions—employers are still and will always be able to conduct background checks. Few things can put the brakes on a promising new job opportunity like an employer finding a felony conviction. A felony may also prevent you from renting an apartment or buying a house or condo in a homeowners’ association (HOA) that does background checks.
The point is simple: You want to do whatever you can to avoid a felony conviction for intoxication manslaughter. Our legal team can help. We will evaluate your case and go over a defense strategy with you. If you decide to move forward, we will get to work right away and collect evidence to prepare for trial.
To learn more about the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, call us today for a free case evaluation at (214) 696-9253.
The Consequences of an Intoxication Manslaughter Conviction
We have established how an intoxication manslaughter felony conviction can impact the rest of your life in a negative way. Still, the immediate consequences are also daunting. Here are the sentencing guidelines for second-degree felonies in Texas, according to Sec. 12.01 of the Texas Statutes:
- Up to 20 years in prison, with a minimum of 2 years
- Up to a $20,000 fine
- Potential loss of driver license
We will fight to keep you out of jail and from being financially decimated by a fine so that your record takes as minimal damage as possible.
Learn About Our Denton Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Strategies
We want to keep you out of jail and keep a felony conviction off your record so that you can move on from this situation and enjoy a successful career and fulfilling life.
There are a few defense strategies we can use to achieve these goals. The strategy we pick will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case.
We may decide it makes sense to plead not guilty and go to trial. Alternatively, it might be more sensible to plead down to a misdemeanor charge.
Not Guilty Plea
With a not guilty plea, the goal is to prevent the prosecution from proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, resulting in an acquittal or a not guilty verdict from a jury. We do not have to prove you are actually innocent or that there is no way you could have committed this crime. If we can poke enough holes in the prosecution’s case and raise enough doubt, we can sway the jury in your direction.
Our team will look at the evidence in your case and gauge our chances at a jury trial. If they are good, we will recommend you plead not guilty. Otherwise, we are better off approaching the prosecutor and judge and offering to plead to a lesser charge.
A plea bargain involves pleading guilty, but to a lesser crime than the one you are accused of committing. In the case of an intoxication manslaughter charge, which is a felony, we would plead down to a misdemeanor. In Texas, a misdemeanor conviction is much easier to get wiped from your record or at least sealed once you have served your time—ideally probation or a small fine. With a sealed or expunged record, you can move forward with your life and not have this issue continue to rear its head.
Call Now for a Free Case Evaluation Today
For a free intoxication manslaughter case evaluation, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253.