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What Is Intoxication Manslaughter?

Posted on February 3, 2023 in

Intoxication manslaughter is the most serious of the intoxication-related offenses. Though, they can be escalated to felony murder charges depending on the incident’s circumstances. This potential felony conviction is a serious offense that requires a sound Houston defense lawyer

Vehicle Deaths That Occur Because of an Intoxicated Driver or Operator

Intoxication manslaughter, as the name suggests, happens when the driver or operator of a vehicle is under the influence. But, it is not only limited to car deaths. The following activities may lead to an intoxication manslaughter charge. 

  • Boating while intoxicated (BWI)
  • Flying while intoxicated (FWI)
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Operating any motor vehicle while in a public place while intoxicated

Understanding the charges you face, their consequences, and the best way to defend yourself against the offense is crucial to a satisfactory resolution. It is of the utmost importance that you speak with a professional Houston DWI lawyer to plan your defense. 

What Consequences Might I Face if Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter? 

If you or a loved one has been charged with intoxication manslaughter, no doubt you are concerned about the penalties that accompany a conviction. The punishments vary for this second-degree felony. Even if probation is granted, the defendant must serve a mandatory 120-day jail sentence. 

The following sentencing and fines may apply to an intoxication manslaughter conviction: 

  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Prison sentence lasting between two and 20 years
  • Driver’s license suspension from 180 days to two years
  • A minimum of 240 hours of community service, with the court having the option to require up to 800 hours

Aside from the expensive fines and a potentially lengthy prison sentence, an intoxication manslaughter conviction can make life difficult in other ways. Having an attorney who specializes in intoxication-related crimes is a must to navigate a charge of this kind. 

What Happens Following a Conviction for Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?

Aside from the apparent guilt and psychological trauma that the driver of a vehicle that causes a fatal accident faces, they can meet other difficulties while trying to regain control over their life. Some of these additional penalties can further complicate things if the defendant is convicted: 

  • To retain driving privileges, the driver must pay an annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 over the next three years
  • Since it is a felony charge, if convicted, the 
  • Also, because of the felony conviction, it would be illegal to possess a firearm
  • Not permitted to run for public office

Often, Texas prison sentences offer early release to those doing “good time.” This term applies to good behavior, allowing them to earn credits that will enable them to get out of prison before their sentence would naturally end. If convicted of intoxication manslaughter, early release is prohibited until at least half of the sentence is served. 

While the case is pending, the defendant may be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) on their car to operate a vehicle legally. There may be other restrictions applied to their driving privileges as well. The court may also require that they refrain from using alcohol or drugs without a prescription and may administer random drug tests to hold to enforce these rules. 

The Right Counsel is Key to Overcoming an Intoxication Manslaughter Charge

If you or someone you love has been charged with an intoxication manslaughter offense, the best way out is a solid defense. A DWI criminal defense attorney with the Law Office of David A. Breston will investigate your case, analyze your options and construct an effective strategy to resolve the matter in the most beneficial way possible. Contact us today to begin mounting a solid defense on your behalf.