By: Christopher Hoover, TX DWI Injury Attorney with a Dallas Texas Law Office location
What is Intoxication manslaughter? DWI fatalities in Texas create a substantial risk of prison time being mandated, if convicted. A DWI-DUI causing injury (or a DUI fatality) is called intoxication manslaughter Texas.
Such crimes create immediate felony DWI consequences in Texas, if convicted. Knowing which DWI vs DUI lawyers near me have successfully defended these criminal matters in the Lone Star State is important. You need an experienced DWI injury lawyer to guide the path of your case, starting with investigation of the DWI to see if that crime is provable and was the proximate cause of the crash.
DWI accidents that result in DUI deaths are sometimes called vehicular manslaughter Texas. Cases that do not have a fatality but result in disfigurement or protracted loss of function of any bodily member (finger, arm, leg) will but accused as vehicular, intoxication assault Texas, which constitutes a DWI third degree felony.
Non-fatal injury cases result in a crime called Intoxication Assault. The text of TX laws on these crimes are found under the 2019 update of Texas Penal Code Section 49.07, which is copied for readers below.
This article provides more about new DWI laws from 2019 pertaining to intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. These can occur in a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, tractor trailer or other motor vehicle.
In the recent Legislative update, not just for fatal DUI crash involving an involuntary manslaughter Texas or a DWI crash on a highway are covered. Additionally. Persons operating watercraft, piloting planes or helicopters (aviation) and amusement park assembly and the "running" of those rides are criminalized too. Of course, these laws apply when the person involved was intoxicated.
Why Quick Action is Crucial: Hiring an Accident Attorney for DWI Deaths
As soon as you learn of such a DWI-DUI accident with injuries or a DUI causing death, making immediate contact with legal counsel can be crucial. The primary three reasons for this admonition (in a DUI accident case) are that:
- The accused citizen needs to NOT talk to anyone but a DWI injury lawyer who knows the criminal defenses for such crimes;
- After a DUI car accident, police spend a great deal of time measuring and marking the accident scene. Law enforcement may use drones to fly over and videotape the location. In addition, cop may possibly have collected multiple interviews with witnesses to the collision; and
- To start building the defense of your DWI case, our legal team must need to pay and deploy an accident reconstruction expert witness. This expert on motor vehicle crashes uses tools to memorialize all distances, yaw marks, and skid patterns. He or she will photograph and measure any crash angles and distances.
Sometimes this visual information on tire track impressions can help win a case. Once the scene goes "cold" and weather (rain, wind) or friction from passing traffic alters the "evidence" this cannot be recaptured.
Also, for an assembled amusement park ride open to the public (or for the person who was responsible for the ride's defective assembly), the same laws apply. These laws broadly cover operation of boats, aircraft, or motor vehicles, and extend to cover putting together or operating amusement rides.
Texas Laws for Intoxication Assault under Texas Penal Code 49.07
(a) A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake:
(1) while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another; or
(2) as a result of assembling a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated causes serious bodily injury to another.
(b) In this section, “serious bodily injury” means injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
(c) Except as provided by Section 49.09 , an offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.
The Texas Intoxication Manslaughter Law under TX Penal Code Section 49.08
(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) Except as provided by Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.
Intoxication Manslaughter Sentence and Intoxication Sentence
For death cases, if convicted of this 2nd degree felony, the Texas maximum fine is $10,000.00 or to be imprisoned in a TX state prison for at least two (2) to as much as 20 years, or BOTH. For intoxication assault Texas penalties, which are 3rd degree felonies, a minimum of two (2) years and up to a maximum prison term for ten (10) years, plus possibly being fined up to $10,000.00.
DWI Attorney Serving Rockwall, Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, and Collin Counties
Dallas DWI lawyer Christopher N. Hoover, covers the metro Dallas and Ft. Worth areas in Texas and about a fifty mile radius around Dallas TX. The veteran criminal law attorney primarily represents clients charged in criminal cases pending in Tarrant County, Rockwall County, Dallas County, Denton County, and Collin County.
The Hoover law office has successfully handled misdemeanor or felony DWI cases for more than 35 years. Very few criminal defense lawyers near me in the State of Texas will claim to have tried more DWI trials of a DWI in Texas crime on more cases than DWI lawyer Chris Hoover.
The author of this article has extensive experience helping guide Texans charged with DUI through the legal process of avoiding a DWI conviction. By being able to explain DWI laws in Texas, Chris Hoover provides a degree of comfort for those clients who are petrified of having a conviction for DWI in TX and going to prison.
What are you waiting for? The initial lawyer consultation is FREE. Contact the Law Office of Christopher N. Hoover, to learn more about possible defenses available in your case. Chris will provide aggressive misdemeanor or felony defense representation in the counties of Rockwall, Collin, Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties.
Chris proudly helps his accused clients do everything possible to avoid a DWI conviction. Call today for a FREE consultation by dialing Mr. Hoover at 214-521-2277. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, our legal team can handle this by virtual call or in person.