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Intoxication manslaughter is usually the result of a DWI where someone is killed. These cases are often traumatic for the accused, especially when the person who dies is someone close to the driver who is alleged to have been intoxicated. Many "intox manslaughter" cases involve victims who are family members or friends of the driver who were passengers at the time of the accident. Others involve drivers or pedestrians, who may also have been drinking. The cause of death must be proven to be the direct action of the person charged, regardless of whether the driver was intoxicated.

Intoxication assault cases require the use of experts to prove that the driver was impaired as the result of alcohol or some drug and to prove the cause of death. At the Hoelscher Gebbia PLLC, we also use experts to treat our clients who are coping with the severe consequences of a mistake. We know that in a very real way, our clients are often victims, too.

The legal consequences of intoxication manslaughter are severe, as well. As a second-degree felony, intoxication manslaughter carries a sentence of two (2) to twenty (20) years in prison. These offenses also have special rules restricting probation (community supervision) and parole. The offense can be enhanced under Texas Penal Code § 49.09 if the person killed by a drunk driver is a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel. An enhanced intoxication manslaughter charge is a First-Degree Felony carrying a sentence of between five (5) and ninety-nine (99) years or life in prison.

Worse, the legal consequences of intoxication manslaughter begin before a client is convicted. After September 1st, 2009, blood draws may be performed for these types of cases without a warrant. Texas state law also requires special conditions of bond in most cases, such as an ignition interlock device, Antabuse medication, driver's license suspension, a SCRAM ankle monitor, or other measures.

Intoxication manslaughter charges require skilled, experienced counsel who is familiar with both DWI defense and felony trials, as these cases often require a jury trial. Intoxication manslaughter is a truly life-altering situation, but by focusing on our clients' needs, using skilled experts, and relying on our trial experience, the consequences can be minimized for our clients and their families.

Texas Penal Code § 49.08. Intoxication Manslaughter

  • (a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and

(2) is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.

  • (b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.

A similar charge is Intoxication Assault, which differs from Intoxication Manslaughter only in that someone suffers serious bodily injury instead of being killed.

To secure our services or to schedule a consultation at our San Antonio law office, contact us by calling 210-570-9902.