In Texas, intoxication manslaughter is a criminal offense that occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes the death of another person. Under Texas law, a person commits intoxication manslaughter (sometimes called intoxication vehicular manslaughter), if they cause the death of another person during a DWI offense. “Intoxication” means that the person’s normal faculties were impaired due to the use of drugs or alcohol, or that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08% or higher.


Intoxication manslaughter is typically charged as a second-degree felony in the State of Texas.  If a driver has alcohol or drugs in his or her system and chooses to drive, and then is involved in an accident that causes someone else’s death, he or she will face criminal charges if proven to have acted in a criminally negligent manner while driving under the influence of and impaired by drugs or alcohol. There are severe consequences for any driver convicted of intoxication manslaughter in Texas. 


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The penalties for intoxication manslaughter can include lengthy imprisonment and significant fines. More specifically, when charged as a second-degree felony offense can result in imprisonment for between two and 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. That said, a person convicted of intoxication manslaughter can face additional penalties, especially if the offense is elevated from a second-degree to a first-degree felony charge.


Elevated charges for intoxication vehicular manslaughter can be set if a driver caused the death of a first responder like on-duty police officers, firefighters, or emergency medical services crewmembers; if the driver has prior convictions for intoxication manslaughter or other [related] offenses on record; if the driver had a minor child in the vehicle at the time of the incident; or if the driver’s BAC exceeded 0.15% at the time of the incident. Penalties in such cases can include a potential maximum penalty of life in prison, and other possible consequences such as the loss of his or her driver’s license, required community service, and payment to any victims’ families as restitution for their loss.


It is important to note that the laws regarding intoxication manslaughter can be complex, and each case is unique. Most intoxication vehicular manslaughter cases are challenging to defend. If you have been involved in a DWI accident resulting in the death of another person and are facing charges it is recommended that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Texas.


If you or someone you love are facing intoxication manslaughter charges in Austin, Texas, or the surrounding area, you should seek out professional legal representation from a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Brian Erskine of Erskine Law is the man for the job; he is committed to helping clients to reach the best outcome possible. For a free consultation and more information about the legal services available from the knowledgeable and skilled team at Erskine Law, contact Law Maverick, Brian Erskine, today.