If you have been accused of Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas (under TX Penal Code §49.08), it is possible to have these charges dismissed or reduced with the help of a Texas criminal defense attorney. Texas prosecutors and courts are tough on intoxication-related offenses. It is very important to have a criminal defense attorney from Blass Law on your side to ensure your rights are upheld throughout the judicial process.
If you have been charged with or arrested for intoxication manslaughter in Texas, do not wait. Call Blass Law immediately at (832) 430-7827 for a case evaluation.
Intoxicated Manslaughter is a Felony in Texas
In Texas, a person may be found guilty of intoxication manslaughter if that person is drunk and their intoxication causes another person to die. Some situations in which this type of manslaughter can occur when an intoxicated individual:
- Operates a motor vehicle in a public place
- Operates a watercraft
- Operates an aircraft
- Operates or assembles an amusement ride
Manslaughter in Texas
The main distinction between manslaughter and other crimes involving the death of another person is that you may be convicted of manslaughter even if you did not intend to cause a death. Many of these cases involve auto-related accidents. However, you may also be charged with violating this law while operating planes, boats, and amusement rides.
Intoxication in Texas
Texas law defines intoxicated as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by the reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug…or a combination into the body.” Alcohol intoxication levels are measured by the percentage of alcohol present in the blood or Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Legal BAC levels vary from one situation to another. The legal limit for BAC for flying and driving is 0.08 percent.
Several factors can influence the outcome of a breath test, such as age, gender, body weight, consumption of food and water, diet, and rate of consumption. This is why the idea of “normal faculties” applies to this type of offense.
“Normal faculties” refer to the ability to perform basic tasks, however, police officers make this decision by looking at “clues” while they ask you to perform abnormal tasks. If state prosecutors can prove that you were without the normal use of your mental or physical faculties when the fatal accident occurred, the state is not required to also prove that your BAC had exceeded 0.08 percent at the time of the offense. However, there is much that can be disputed about the roadside exercises the police ask you to perform.
Penalties and Punishments
Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Texas, and a conviction is punishable by:
- Fines up to $10,000
- Imprisonment from two to 10 years
- Regular drug and alcohol testing
- Court-mandated counseling
- Drug and alcohol education classes
- Community service
- Community supervision
Your Right to Remain Silent
You have the right to refuse to speak with police about your case until an attorney is present, and we recommend you avail yourself of this right. If you are arrested for intoxication manslaughter, clearly state your wish to consult with an attorney and do not speak with investigators. Then, call Blass Law at (832) 430-7827.
How Blass Law Can Defend You
Once we begin representing you, the Blass Law team can promptly go to work investigating the events that led to your arrest or charge.
Errors in the Investigation
We can interview witnesses and gather evidence to look for errors made by investigators. These errors could include the following:
- Breathalyzer testing instruments operated by personnel who are not qualified to conduct breath testing
- Breathalyzer equipment that has not been properly maintained
- Too much time lapsing between the arrest and the administration of the breath test
- Insufficient reasons to justify the initial traffic stop
Errors Made by the Prosecution
The state may make any number of legal errors when prosecuting your case. These errors could include filing charges based on insufficient, illegally obtained, or improperly preserved evidence. Such mistakes often form the basis of a winning intoxication manslaughter defense.
Possible Outcomes for Your Case
Your case may result in any of several outcomes, which could include:
- Release from jail on your own recognizance
- Reduced charges
- Plea deals for lower offenses
- Reduced sentences
- Reinstatement of professional licenses
Once charges have been filed, the time to develop a competent defense grows shorter by the day. Let us gather and analyze all the evidence in your case and assert a well-crafted defense on your behalf.
If you have been arrested or charged with intoxication manslaughter, contact Blass Law before speaking with anyone else about your case. Call us now at (832) 430-7827 for a confidential consultation.