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When Can a Person Face Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Denton County vehicular manslaughter defense lawyerTypically, a person may be charged with a violent crime if they intentionally caused bodily injury or harm to someone else. These cases often involve accusations of assault and battery, robbery, or domestic violence. The most serious types of violent crime charges involve homicide, in which a person is accused of intentionally killing someone else. However, a person may also face criminal charges of manslaughter if they killed someone accidentally or because of recklessness or negligence. This includes situations in which a person was involved in a car accident that led to someone’s death. Those who have been accused of vehicular manslaughter will need to work with a criminal defense attorney to determine how to defend against these charges.

Manslaughter Charges in Under Texas Law

The Texas Penal Code identifies two types of offenses that a person may be charged with if they unintentionally killed someone else. Manslaughter, including vehicular manslaughter, may be charged if a person acted recklessly in a way that they knew could kill someone, and these actions led to a person’s death. For example, a person may be charged with manslaughter if they were driving 20 miles per hour above the speed limit in an area where they knew other vehicles were present, and this caused a car accident in which someone was killed. Manslaughter is a second-degree felony, and a person who is convicted may be sentenced to between 2 and 20 years in prison, and they may also be fined up to $10,000.

A person may be charged with criminally negligent homicide if they acted in a way that they knew could cause harm to someone, and these actions led to someone’s death. For example, if a driver was texting while driving, and this led to a car accident in which someone was killed, they could be considered criminally negligent. This offense is a state jail felony, and a person who is convicted may be sentenced to between 180 days and two years in a state prison, and they may also be fined up to $10,000.

A person may also face charges of intoxication manslaughter if they accidentally caused someone’s death due to the operation of a motor vehicle while they were above the legal blood alcohol limit of .08%. This offense is a second-degree felony, although it may be elevated to a first-degree felony if the person killed was a firefighter, police officer, or emergency medical technician. A person who is convicted of a first-degree felony may be sentenced to between 5 and 99 years in prison, and they may also be fined up to $10,000.

Contact Our Plano Vehicular Manslaughter Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of accidentally causing someone’s death, you will need an experienced attorney on your side to determine how you can avoid or minimize criminal charges. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we will advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. Contact our Collin County manslaughter defense lawyer at 214-303-9600 to set up your free consultation.

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.19.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

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