If you or a loved one faces intoxication manslaughter charges in Texas, the District Attorney is accusing you of causing someone else’s death because you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Primarily, this law applies to the drivers of cars. However, you could face this type of charge following a boat, plane, or amusement park ride accident as well.
If the police arrested you for violation of Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.08, or if you already face charges related to your arrest, you do not have to try to fight this by yourself. Call Eddington Worley Attorneys at 855-600-6695 today. We know what it takes to fight these charges and can aggressively pursue a more favorable outcome in your case.
Understanding Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.08: Intoxication Manslaughter
According to Sec. 49.08, District Attorneys generally charge intoxication manslaughter as a felony of the second degree. They use this charge under very specific circumstances. To prove intoxication manslaughter, prosecutors will need to show:
- You operated a vehicle; and
- You were intoxicated because of drugs or alcohol; and
- Your intoxication caused the death of another person
It is important to note that the vehicle can include:
- Any type of motor vehicle on a public road or in a public place; or
- Any type of aircraft; or
- Any type of watercraft; or
- An amusement ride
In addition, “intoxication” can result from partaking in any number of substances, from alcohol to marijuana to opiates. Prescription drugs and some over-the-counter medications can also cause intoxication.
Occasionally, someone who faces charges under Section 49.08 may face first-degree felony charges and the possibility of enhanced penalties. This is possible if the person who died was a first responder currently on duty at the time of the incident. This includes:
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Peace officers
Possible Penalties for a Violation of Texas Penal Code Section 49.08
If you plead guilty or the court hands down a guilty verdict to a felony of the second degree in Texas, you could face between two and 20 years behind bars. You might also face a fine of up to $10,000 and other consequences. Like other intoxication-related offenses, you can also count on a license suspension as a part of your sentence as well as an administrative license suspension.
If we can get some of your prison sentence probated, you will need to follow strict rules as set by the Judge in your case. This may include:
- Mandatory drug or alcohol abuse treatment or classes
- Community service
- Avoiding drug and alcohol use
- Meeting with your probation officer regularly
- Remaining in school or keeping a job
- No further arrests
- Other rules the Judge sees fit based on the facts of your case
Defending You Against Intoxication Manslaughter Allegations in Texas
When you understand what the prosecution has to prove to show you are guilty of intoxication manslaughter, it makes it easier to see some of the possible defenses against this charge. We will review the accident and the circumstances of your arrest building a defense strategy that makes sense based on the facts of your case. Some ways we may be able to clear your name or get a reduced charge include:
- Proving you were not intoxicated
- Showing there were issues with the testing machinery or procedure
- Proving you were not at fault in the accident
- Showing mitigating circumstances that allow us to negotiate a plea deal for reduced charges and penalties
In some cases, our best option may be to pursue a probated sentence to get the most reduced penalties possible based on the facts of your case. When we first meet about your case, we can help you understand which of these options may work best and how our team will aggressively fight for a more favorable outcome for you.
Let Eddington Worley Attorneys Go to Work on Your Intoxication Manslaughter Case Today
At Eddington Worley Attorneys, our Texas DWI attorneys can help you fight DWI charges or more serious alcohol- or drug-related allegations. This includes intoxication manslaughter. When you hire our team, we will review your case with you and gather all possible evidence to understand the circumstances that led to your arrest and charges.
We will also go to work immediately to protect your rights. We will represent you during every court appearance and can be there during interrogation if the police want to question you about the incident.
We will use our experience and our knowledge of your case to build a strong defense strategy on your behalf. This defense will be central to our fight for a more favorable outcome.
To learn more about how we can help you fight intoxication manslaughter accusations, call our office today at 855-600-6695.