The law for Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas is as follows:
49.08. INTOXICATION MANSLAUGHTER
(a) A person commits an offense if the person:
1. operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and
2. is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.
Intoxication Manslaughter (and Intoxication Assault) charges usually follow a DWI accident in which someone other than the driver is injured or killed. To gain an Intoxication Manslaugher conviction it must be proven that the Driving While Intoxicated resulted in an accident which caused the death to another person. When a person is accused of Intoxication Manslaughter (or Intoxication Assault) the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest usually do not differ from the conduct of a defendant charged with a 1st-time DWI.
However, there is obviously one major difference, someone died as a result of the accident. This means that in an Intoxication Assault case a jury will also factor into consideration that a victim was killed as a result of the intoxication. This consideration is not obviously not a factor with charges of DWI. Many times in a DWI trial many jurors identify with the defendant in that they have possibly been in their shoes before, just never before been caught. As could be expected, in an Intoxication Manslaughter case the death of a victim can play into the emotions of any potential juror. It is obvious then that these cases have to be approached with the utmost sensitivity.
Just as with an Intoxication Assault charge, the accident must also have been caused by "reason of intoxication." The main question to be asked from this would be whether the driver's intoxication was a direct result of the the accident. A conviction for Intoxication Manslaugther requires proof that the injuries were a result of the driver's intoxication. If, for example, there were other reasons by which the accident occurred (faulty brakes, negligent driving of another vehicle), the defendant may have a defensible issue to the intoxication manslaughter charge. It should also be noted that in Intoxication Manslaughter cases a blood sample can be obtained without the consent of the defendant.
Deadly Weapon Finding
If you are convicted of Intoxication Assault or Intoxication Manslaughter and the judge or jury finds that you committed the offense with a deadly weapon, you may be ineligible to receive probation. Offenses where the state alleges the finding of a Deadly Weapon are extremely dangerous charges because they are known as a "3G" offenses. That means it is one of the few offenses that Texas Law statutorily prohibits the judge from granting probation if you are convicted following a jury trial. Under Texas law, a "deadly weapon" finding prevents a person who has been sentenced to prison from accumulating any good time credit toward an early release for parole until they have actually served one-half of their sentence. An Intoxication Manslaughter charge enhanced with a deadly weapon finding would still be classified as a 2nd degree Felony. The only difference would be those listed above.
A vehicle can found to have been a "deadly weapon" where an alcohol-related accident results in a death, or where a death could have occurred by the manner of driving by the defendant. The Texas Courts have held that intoxicated drivers who are involved in accidents where a death has occurred can be found to have used their vehicles as "deadly weapons." Moreover, the Texas Courts have also held that in an Intoxicated Assault case (where death did not occur), depending upon how the vehicle was driven, a "deadly weapon" finding may also be proper.
Contact the Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, if you have been charged with Intoxication Manslaugther. Carl handles cases of Intoxication Manslaughter anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and in Central Texas. Please call 214.702.CARL (2275) for a free consultation on what your defenses are in fighting your charge of Intoxication Manslaughter.
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Carl David Ceder is an experienced Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney who practices all over the Dallas Metroplex, including all of Dallas, Tarrant County, Collin County, Denton County, Rockwall County, and all adjoining counties:
- Dallas Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney - Dallas, University Park, University Park, Grapevine, Garland, DeSoto, Irving, Carrollton, Addison, Duncanville, Richardson, Cedar Hill, Cockrell Hill, Coppell, Grand Prairie, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Seagoville, Wilmer, Wylie
- Fort Worth Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney - Fort Worth, Southlake, Keller, Arlington, Bedford, Burleson, Colleyville, Crowley, Euless, Everman, Grapevine, Flower Mound, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Lakeside, Mansfield, North Richland Hills, Westlake, Saginaw, River Oaks
- Collin County Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney - McKinney, Plano, Garland, Allen, Dallas, Carrollton, Richardson, Fairview, St. Paul, Weston, Lucas, Melissa, Nevada, Westminster, Frisco, Celina, Murphy, New Hope, Prosper, Wylie
- Rockwall County Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney - Rockwall, Dallas, Fate, Heath, Mobile City, McLendon-Chisolm, Rowlett, Royse City, Wylie, Munson, Blackland
- Denton County Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney - Dallas, Denton, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Southlake, Hebron, Argyle, Justin, Lake Dallas, Plano, Bartonville, Coppell, Northlake, Carollton, Corinth, Hebron, Highland Village, Justin, Lakewood Village, Lewisville, Northlake, Prosper, The Colony, Westlake