Intoxication Manslaughter is a serious second-degree felony under Texas Law. One can be charged with this upon killing someone when driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It has its own set of rules and conditions that separates it from that of murder, manslaughter, and vehicular manslaughter.
Manslaughter vs Murder
In terms of Criminal Law, ‘Manslaughter’ and ‘Murder’ are two forms of Criminal Homicide - what separates the two is intention. Murder involves malicious intent and premeditation, whereas manslaughter is accidental and without intention.
The Core Points of Intoxication Manslaughter
Intoxication Manslaughter has several core points that differentiates itself to other forms of manslaughter.
Voluntary Intoxication means to voluntarily use drugs or drink alcohol until they reach the state of intoxication. Under Section 49.01(2) of the Texas Penal Code, an individual is considered intoxicated when they have a blood alcohol content level of 0.08, or have lost the normal use of their mental or physical abilities due to being very drunk or high.
Operating a Vehicle
Intoxication Manslaughter covers all forms of vehicles, such as airplanes and boats. They also cover use or operation of a carnival or amusement park ride. So, Texas Law, if someone were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while assembling or operating an amusement park ride and it leads to a person’s death, the operator can be charged with Intoxication Manslaughter.
Causing the Death of Another
If someone drives after drinking a lot of alcohol or taking a lot of drugs and then causes the death of another (including their passengers), then they have committed Intoxication Manslaughter. The driver will be the only one charged with this, even if the passengers are just as intoxicated as the driver and are distracting the driver from operating the vehicle.
Let’s Talk About Penalties
As a second-degree felony, Intoxication Manslaughter can result in a 2 to 20 year imprisonment with a fine of up to $10,000. This can be enhanced to a first-degree felony with a 5 year to life imprisonment if the victim was from law enforcement, a firefighter, emergency medical personnel, or a judge.
What Sentences are to be Expected?
First-degree and second-degree felonies are very serious offenses under Texas Law. A convicted individual will face prison or jail time, most especially if this isn’t their first offense. Sentences a judge can pass down includes:
- Community service for up to 800 hours
- Complete an education program
- Suspension of driver’s license for a minimum of 90 days
- Adding an ignition interlock on the vehicle
- Paying compensation to the victim’s family
Why You Need a Criminal Law Attorney
Intoxication Manslaughter is a very serious crime and is seen as the highest form of intoxicated-related crime. A criminal law attorney can help you in many ways, such as the following.
Do Independent Investigations
To help you, a criminal law attorney will do what they can to know all of the particulars of the case. This includes doing their own investigation if needed.
In a case that involves accidental death with a vehicle, there is a possibility of escalation. A defense attorney who knows all the details can prevent that from happening.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
If a criminal law attorney can get a positive outcome for your case, they can also help find or suggest places for effective alcohol addiction treatment.
Excessive drinking, whether by choice or by compulsion, will lead to very dire consequences. Precision Recovery can help prevent the problems that can affect you and your family with effective alcohol addiction treatment. Contact us to get tested.