When a person is killed as the result of an individual driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, the motorist may be charged with intoxication manslaughter (otherwise known as DWI manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated). Prosecutors in these cases may feel pressure from the family members of victims to pursue maximum punishments in these types of cases.
It is important to understand that there is no "mens rea" element (the state of mind statutorily required in order to convict an alleged offender of a particular crime) to an intoxication manslaughter charge, meaning that a prosecutor does not have to prove that a person intended to kill another individual. Instead, a prosecutor only needs to prove that an alleged offender was reckless in his or her actions, and Texas law presumes that a driver is reckless if he or she is legally intoxicated.
Lawyer for Intoxication Manslaughter Arrests in Conroe, TX
Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for intoxication manslaughter in Harris County or Montgomery County? You should refuse to speak to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact Evans & Powell, PLLC as soon as possible.
Conroe criminal defense attorneys Sean Evans and Frank Powelldefends clients charged with DWI crimes in communities all over Montgomery County and Harris County, such as Magnolia, Patton Village, Pinehurst, Splendora, Spring, The Woodlands, Willis, Woodbranch, and many others. Call (936) 622-2000 to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Montgomery County Intoxication Manslaughter Information Center
- What constitutes an intoxication manslaughter crime?
- What are the consequences of convictions for this offense?
- Where can I learn more about intoxication manslaughter in Conroe?
Texas Penal Code § 49.08 establishes that a person commits intoxication manslaughter if he or she:
- operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and
- is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2), intoxicated is defined as either "not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body" or having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more.
Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Texas. A conviction may be punishable by any combination of the following punishments:
- Up to 20 years in prison; and
- Fine of up to $10,000.
If more than one person is killed in a crash, the alleged offender can face multiple intoxication manslaughter charges. Sentences in such cases also can run consecutively (back to back) rather than concurrently (at the same time).
People convicted of this crime can also have their driver's licenses suspended for up to two years. Judges may impose other requirements such as possible installation of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) on all vehicles owned or operated by alleged offenders, random drug and/or alcohol testing, and completion of a mandatory drug and/or alcohol treatment program.
DUI (Alcohol) Related Fatalities by County and Age | Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) — View statistics for DUI fatalities in 2016 broken down by the counties where the accidents took place and the ages of the victims. Additional drunk driving crash statistics are also located on the TxDOT website. The website also has statistics for DUI drivers in fatal crashes by driver age, BAC test results on fatally injured drivers, and DUI involved crashes by county.
Faces of Drunk Driving — Faces of Drunk Driving is a public education campaign and website that highlights "the extensive human toll that drinking and driving can have and provides personal accounts from victims, families and others whose lives have been shattered." Read the stories of drivers, passengers, and other victims of drunk driving crashes. You can also find a link to help you find a sober ride.
Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Attorney
If you were arrested or believe that you could be under investigation for intoxication manslaughter in Montgomery County or Harris County, it is in your best interest to exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation. Evans & Powell, PLLC represents individuals in Cut and Shoot, Oak Ridge North, Panorama Village, Porter Heights, Shenandoah, Spring, The Woodlands, Willis, and many other nearby areas in Harris County and Montgomery County.
Sean Evans and Frank Powell are skilled criminal defense lawyers in Conroe who will work tirelessly to help you achieve the most favorable resolution that results in the fewest possible consequences. You can have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (936) 622-2000 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.