What Is Intoxication Manslaughter And How Is It Punished Under Texas Law?
A common question we are frequently asked is “What Is Intoxication Manslaughter?” Intoxication manslaughter is a category of homicide that applies to situations where a drunk driver causes a death. This type of homicide is considered as an independent offense in the state of Texas. There are similar laws in a few other states, but the term intoxication manslaughter is unique to Texas. Other states refer to this category of homicide with terms such as vehicular manslaughter, or DWI Manslaughter. A DWI in Texas is something that should not be taken lightly, contact your
What Is The Difference Between A Homicide, Murder, And Manslaughter?
A Houston DWI Lawyer, the term homicide is used when a person kills someone. The term applies if someone kills an attacker in self-defense. In this scenario, homicide isn’t illegal. Murder and Intoxication Manslaughter are two types of criminal homicides. Murder applies when someone kills a person on purpose, while manslaughter applies when someone kills a person without meaning to. There is no malice or premeditation in manslaughter, and it is considered as a lesser offense compared to murder. Punishment is less severe since the person didn’t mean to kill anyone and typically has an excuse or explanation. If you are facing charges for a DWI, make sure to contact an experienced Houston DWI Lawyer immediately.
In Which Situations Does Intoxication Manslaughter Apply?
Intoxication manslaughter applies whenever a person operates a vehicle while intoxicated and kills someone. The victim can be a passenger, the driver of another vehicle, or a pedestrian. Intoxication manslaughter applies if death isn’t immediate and is a result of injuries sustained during a crash caused by an intoxicated driver.
What Is Intoxication?
Alcohol isn’t the only substance that can cause intoxication. A person is considered as intoxicated if they are unable to function and operate a vehicle because they drank alcohol or consumed illegal substances. Prescription medications can also cause intoxication. There are cases where people mix different substances to get high and become intoxicated. From a legal point of view, it is possible to determine if a person is intoxicated by using blood alcohol level tests, drug tests, or a field sobriety test. People can be considered intoxicated from a legal point of view even if they can still function and don’t feel drunk or high since there is a legal limit for one’s blood-alcohol level.
Is Intoxication Manslaughter Limited To Car Crashes?
A Houston DWI Lawyer explains that even though most intoxication manslaughter cases involve car crashes, this law applies to other situations as well. An intoxication person can cause a death by operating a boat, airplane, or another type of vehicle. The definition of vehicular manslaughter is broad under Texas laws. The law provides some examples, such as an intoxicated person assembling an amusement park ride and involuntarily causing a death. The definition of ‘vehicular’ is broad in most states.
What Is Voluntary Intoxication?
The Texas intoxication manslaughter law mentions voluntary intoxication. This is an important detail because it means that this law applies only to situations where a person voluntarily consumed a substance that resulted in them being drunk or high. This doesn’t mean someone is protected if they consumed a substance they didn’t think would impair their ability to drive. This provision was added to the law to create an exception for individuals who become intoxication after consuming a substance they didn’t take voluntarily.
What Is The Typical Punishment For Intoxication Manslaughter?
According to a Houston DWI Lawyer, intoxication manslaughter isn’t punished as severely as a murder. However, it is still considered a homicide and carries stiff penalties. The punishment varies in function of the circumstances of the accident that resulted in death. If you are wondering if a DWI is a felony make sure to check out our website. Leaving the scene of the accident often results in more serious punishment. State laws can also affect how intoxication manslaughter is punished. Here are the most common punishments for this crime:
– Prison Sentence
Intoxication manslaughter is considered a felony and can result in a prison sentence. The length of the typical prison sentence for this crime varies from one state to another. In some states, it is possible to get a 20-year prison sentence for this crime. In Texas, intoxication manslaughter is considered to be a second-degree felony. This means the prison sentence can last between two and 20 years. If someone is sentenced to a long prison sentence, there usually is a minimum sentence they have to serve before becoming eligible for parole. In Texas, someone convicted of vehicular manslaughter would have to serve a minimum of two years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.
– Hefty Fines
Fines are often associated with a prison sentence as a punishment for intoxication manslaughter. Fines can exceed $10,000, but Texas laws set a limit of $10,000 for fines.
– Community Service Hours
Community service is mandatory in Texas for anyone convicted of this crime. This is a common punishment in other states as well. In Texas, a criminal convicted of vehicular manslaughter would have to serve a minimum of 240 hours of community service but the court can decide to impose more hours.
Houston DWI Lawyer
To learn more about intoxication manslaughter and related content, be sure to visit our blog. If you have any questions or wish to speak with a Houston DWI Lawyer, call the Butler Law Firm at (713) 236-8744.