A 25-year-old has been arrested and charged with a DWI after she hit and killed a person riding on a stand-up electric scooter. The victim was in the same lane as the driver and was riding southbound while the driver was riding northbound. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene when first responders arrived. In Texas, when a death results from a DWI, prosecutors charged the defendant with a crime called intoxicated manslaughter. Intoxicated manslaughter is a serious offense with severe penalties that we will discuss below.
What Constitutes Intoxicated Manslaughter in Texas?
Texas prosecutors take deaths related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs seriously. They will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. The purpose of the Texas intoxicated manslaughter law is to protect everyone on the road from intoxicated drivers. When an intoxicated driver kills someone by mistake because of negligence, they will face intoxicated manslaughter charges. The prosecution must prove several elements to convict the defendant of intoxicated manslaughter:
The defendant was operating a motor vehicle in a public space
Or the defendant was operating an aircraft, watercraft, amusement ride, or assembling an amusement ride
While engaging in one of these activities, the defendant was intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) at or above .08%
The defendant’s intoxication caused another person’s death by mistake or accident
The Penalties for Intoxicated Manslaughter
In Texas, intoxicated manslaughter is considered a second-degree felony. It carries the following penalties, at a minimum:
Between two and 20 years in prison
Fines of up to $10,000
Driver’s license suspension between six months and two years
Possible other penalties, including community service
In addition to the intoxicated manslaughter charge, most defendants will face additional criminal charges. They may face additional manslaughter charges if their intoxication causes the death of more than one person. In this case, they will face even harsher penalties and an even more serious classification of their criminal charges.
In addition to the criminal penalties mentioned above, being convicted of intoxicated manslaughter can negatively impact a person’s life. Their personal and professional reputations could be damaged, making it difficult for them to find a job. They could experience family troubles, including divorce or losing child custody. Finding housing and advancing your career is also difficult when you have a felony conviction on your record. You will lose your right to own a firearm and could face other long-term consequences.
Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Lawyer Today
If you have been involved in a DWI accident resulting in another person’s death, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Abel Law Firm today to learn more about how our award-winning criminal defense lawyer can fight for you.