What Happens If You Kill Someone in a Drunk Driving Incident in Texas?
While we may not be inclined to admit it, most of us have gotten into a car and driven ourselves home after having too much to drink. Most of the time, taking such a foolish risk results in little or no consequence; other times, however, making the mistake of drinking and driving can change lives forever. If you are facing charges for getting into a car accident while drunk and accidentally killing someone, you need to know the penalties you may be facing.
Under Texas law, the term for causing a fatal car, truck, or other vehicle accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is “intoxication manslaughter.” Manslaughter is a legal term that recognizes that, as opposed to murder, in which the act was premeditated, the crime of killing someone can happen without malice or forethought. Instead, manslaughter charges are brought when someone’s actions amount to an extreme, reckless disregard for life in the form of criminal negligence.
What Are the Consequences of Intoxication Manslaughter?
As with most serious crimes, the exact penalties for a particular person will depend somewhat on their past criminal history and the circumstances of the case. However, intoxication manslaughter cases are often very severe and are at least second-degree felonies. This carries punishments that include:
- Between two and 20 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- At least 240 hours of community service, with the potential for much more
If your blood alcohol content was higher than .15 percent, you have previous DWIs on your record, a child under age 15 was in your car at the time of the accident, or if the victim of the accident was a firefighter, police officer, or another first responder, you could face even longer prison sentences.
Even if your penalty is less than the maximum, remember that convicted felons face additional long-term challenges. Finding housing and work can be very difficult and the consequences to your reputation can be severe.
Facing Charges of Manslaughter or Homicide? Call a Texas Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
If you or someone you love faces charges of unintentionally killing someone in a DWI car crash, you need the help of an experienced, aggressive Dallas-Fort Worth DWI criminal defense attorney with The Crowder Law Firm, P.C.. No matter what you are accused of, we only care about defending your constitutional rights and will fight to get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. Call our offices now at 214-303-9600 24/7 to get the best criminal defense attorney on your side now.