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Intoxication Manslaughter

SAN ANTONIO Intoxication ManslaughteR LAWYERS

Intoxication manslaughter (often called “vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated” or DWI manslaughter) under Penal Code Section 49.08 is charged as a Second-Degree Felony. The penalties are enhanced to a First-Degree Felony if the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel.

Some of these cases involving the death of a passenger in the defendant’s vehicle. In other cases, the defendant is a complete stranger to the victim who is killed as a result of a crash between two vehicles or when a pedestrian is killed.

Because a sentence of ten (10) years probation is allowed in some of these cases, the defendant might agree to plead guilty to intoxicated manslaughter and elect to have a jury decide the punishment. Jurors often decide to impose probation in these cases because the defendant did not intend to cause anyone's death, has no prior criminal record, and caused the death of only one other person. The prosecutor will often argue that the offense was worse than an intentional conduct with a specific target because a drunken driver targets everyone.

Although less commonly prosecuted, the intoxication manslaughter statute also prohibits operating an aircraft, a boat or another type of watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxication when that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.

Attorney For Intoxication Manslaughter In San Antonio, TX

If you were charged by indictment with the offense of intoxication manslaughter in the greater San Antonio area, then contact an experienced DWI lawyer at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. With offices conveniently located in San Antonio, Donald Flanary is available for a consultation to discuss the case.

Many of these cases involve the results of a blood test either taken at the direction of a law enforcement officer (often called legal blood) or by medical personnel at the hospital for medical purposes (often called medical blood). Don Flanary is experienced in fighting to exclude the blood evidence because of an illegal seizure. He is also experienced in attacking the blood test results to show a lack of accuracy or reliability in the testing methods utilized in your case.

The best results in these cases require an attorney to fight the charges at every stage of the case. It is important for the attorney to immediately preserve exculpatory evidence that can be lost with the passage of time in a traffic homicide investigation including surveillance video, evidence from the vehicles involved in the crash, and evidence at the scene that is necessary to reconstruct the accident.

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Elements Of Manslaughter By Operating A Vehicle While Intoxicated

The statute for the crime of Intoxication Manslaughter is found at Section 49.08. The intoxication manslaughter statute prohibits a person from:

  • operating a motor vehicle in a public place;
  • while intoxicated;
  • when by reason of that intoxication the defendant causes the death of another by accident or mistake.

Although manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter requires some proof of a reckless act or reckless driving, the crime of intoxicated manslaughter presumes “recklessness” by virtue of the fact that the driver operated the vehicle while intoxicated. As a result, the prosecutor is not required to show “reckless driving.”

The crime of intoxication manslaughter does not have a “mens rea” element that requires proof that the defendant intentionally committing the crime or intended to cause the death of another person involved in the crash. Instead, the prosecutors burden is limited to proving an intent to consume an alcoholic beverage and operate a motor vehicle.

Definitions Of Terms Related To Intoxication Manslaughter

The term “intoxicated” means not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body, or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

“Motor vehicle” means a device in, on, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway, except a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.

“Public place” means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops.

The term “alcohol concentration” means the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine.

The term “controlled substance” means a substance, including a drug, an adulterant, and a dilutant, listed in Schedules I through V or Penalty Groups 1, 1-A, or 2 through 4. The term includes the aggregate weight of any mixture, solution, or other substance containing a controlled substance.

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  • Constant Communication
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    With multiple decades of experience between our attorneys, we have a history of proven results and happy clients. We always aim to get a criminal case dismissed or have the charges lowered to reduce any penalties our clients are facing. We are confident we can get you the results you deserve.
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    At our firm, we pride ourselves on the diverse range of criminal cases we have worked on. From federal felony charges to state misdemeanors, we know exactly how to build a defense strategy that's right for you. Our team can handle even the most complex cases and are willing to be flexible with our strategies.
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    All criminal cases are different, so our dense strategies are too. We would never re-use a legal strategy from one client to the next because your case is too unique. We will always build a defense strategy that's personalized and effective for you to get the outcome you deserve.

Finding A Lawyer For Manslaughter Intoxication In Texas

If you were involved in a vehicular homicide, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Flanary Law Firm, PLLC. Call for a free consultation to discuss the bond conditions and getting out of jail while the case is pending. Also learn more about the criminal charge, possible punishments and the best defenses that can be used to fight the case.

Don Flanary represents clients charged with serious felony DWI offenses such as Manslaughter Intoxication and Manslaughter Assault.

Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

Additional Resources

Texas Section 49.08. Intoxication Manslaughter – Visit the website of the Texas Legislature to find the complete statutory language in Section 49.08 for intoxication manslaughter which was added by the Acts 1993 of the 73rd Legislature under Chapter 900 in Section 1.01 which became effective on September 1, 1994. The statute was amended effective January 1, 2000, and September 1, 2007.

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