What You Need to Know About Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas
While DWI (driving while intoxicated) itself is a very serious offense, the most serious offense related to such a crime is intoxication manslaughter. This is no coincidence—the whole purpose of law enforcement serving and protecting other civilian drivers from those drivers who are intoxicated is to maintain their safety from serious injury or death. When an intoxicated driver kills someone by accident or mistake, the offense is referred to as intoxication manslaughter, and its penalties are very serious indeed.
What Constitutes Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?
In the state of Texas, the law defines “intoxication manslaughter” as follows:
“An individual is committing the offense of intoxication manslaughter if that person operates a motor vehicle in a public space, an aircraft, a watercraft, an amusement ride, or assembles an amusement ride while being intoxicated with a blood alcohol content (BAC) greater than or equal to .08% in which the aforementioned intoxication causes the death of another by mistake or accident.”
What Are the Legal Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?
Intoxication manslaughter is classified as a second-degree felony in Texas. This means that it carries with it the following penalties, at minimum:
- Between two and 20 years in prison
- Fines of up to $10,000
- License suspension of between six months and two years
- Possible other penalties, including community service
Keep in mind as well that the charges of intoxication manslaughter can be compounded with more charges, including additional manslaughter charges if more than one person is killed by the accident. This can lead to stiffer penalties and even more serious classifications of charges.
What Are the Social Consequences of Being Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter?
A charge or conviction of intoxication manslaughter has all sorts of implications for your life other than legal, including:
- Destruction of your reputation
- Difficulties getting jobs
- Family troubles like divorce
- Alcoholism or drug abuse
What Is the Difference Between Intoxication Manslaughter and Vehicular Manslaughter?
Simply put, vehicular manslaughter and intoxication manslaughter are very similar in that they both involve death by vehicle, but intoxication manslaughter is committed when the accused driver is also intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol and not just driving dangerously or recklessly. Usually, the charges and penalties are not very different in seriousness, but they can be compounded and complicated depending on the circumstances. For instance, disobeying traffic laws and also causing someone’s death as a result might lead to a more seriously classified charge.
Contact a San Antonio Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Attorney
Whether it be DWI, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, or any other number of DWI-related charges threatening your livelihood and freedom, you need to reach out to an experienced San Antonio DWI defense lawyer. Call the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock at 888-726-5625 for a free consultation to help you sort through these charges and determine the best strategies moving forward.