Intoxicated Manslaughter Defense
Houston Intoxicated Manslaughter Attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a crime that has been politicized due to pressure from outside groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). The penalties related to a DWI are serious, but if an individual dies due to another person’s intoxicated driving, a charge of intoxicated manslaughter brings much more severe penalties.
Intoxicated manslaughter is covered in Texas Penal Code §49.08 and is defined as causing the death of another human being due to being intoxicated while operating a vehicle, watercraft, aircraft or even amusement park ride. The crime is considered a felony under Texas law.
Special interest groups such as MADD put serious political pressure on state officials to prosecute these crimes aggressively and harshly. This can lead to some of the most detrimental penalties that a person could imagine.
Possible Punishments for Intoxicated Manslaughter
The punishments related to intoxicated manslaughter are both numerous and harsh. Anyone convicted of the crime faces:
- Fines up to $10,000
- Driver’s license suspension lasting up to two years
- Up to 800 hours of court-ordered community service
- Two to 20 years in prison
Many people find out the hard way, though, that these penalties can be seriously increased. If a second person is injured or killed during the accident, for instance, a defendant will face multiple charges. If convicted, the penalties for these convictions can be served consecutively. This means that a person may receive much longer than 20 years. A prosecutor may also try to claim that the motor vehicle was a “deadly weapon,” and can greatly increase penalties.
Legal Defenses to Intoxicated Manslaughter
Fighting an intoxicated manslaughter case is difficult, so it’s imperative for anyone charged with the crime to find a Houston intoxicated manslaughter lawyer. Prosecutors must prove that a person was intoxicated during the accident that resulted in death. If field sobriety tests or blood alcohol content (BAC) tests aren’t performed correctly, they could be tainted and thus cannot be used as evidence.
In addition, every aspect to the intoxicated manslaughter charge must be proven. This includes the fact that a person’s intoxication must be the approximate cause of another person’s death. If it can be proven that the other driver caused the accident and thus the resultant tragedy, then the defendant cannot be held accountable.
Speak to a Houston Intoxicated Manslaughter Attorney
Intoxicated manslaughter is very serious accusation that carries very serious penalties. Matthew D. Sharp is a criminal defense attorney who works in the Greater Houston Area. They make sure that their clients have the absolute best chance of being acquitted of their alcohol-related charges. If you or a loved one is accused of any kind of manslaughter, you literally have no time to waste. Call The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp right now.