Intoxication Manslaughter

Texas is the only state to have a homicide law specifically for situations where a drunk or intoxicated person operates a vehicle and causes the death of another person.

While you never intended to take the life of another person, prosecutors and judges can be harsh and unforgiving when it comes to intoxication manslaughter. If you were arrested for intoxication manslaughter, you probably have many questions regarding your future that an experienced criminal attorney could answer.

Criminal Defense Attorney for Intoxication Manslaughter in Harris County , TX

Brian Benken is a trusted attorney with over 30 years experience as a criminal defense attorney in Harris County. He is also a licensed private investigator who will gather and preserve the facts of your case that are key to winning or getting the case dismissed.

The sooner you retain legal representation, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court. Let The Benken Law Firm represent you. Call (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a case consultation with Brian Benken.

The Benken Law Firm defends clients of felony criminal charges in all areas of Harris County and surrounding counties. Some of these areas include, but are not limited to, Houston, Bellaire, Uptown, Piney Point Village, River Oaks and many others.


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What is Intoxicated Manslaughter?

When an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they usually have every intention of making it home safely and not injuring anyone along the way. But sometimes that doesn’t happen, and their actions of intoxicated driving result in the death of another person.

Listed under section 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code, intoxication manslaughter is considered:

    • The operation of a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, amusement ride or assembles a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated, and because of that intoxication, they cause the death of another by accident or mistake.

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How Long Can you go to Jail for Intoxication Manslaughter?

It’s considered a serious crime under Texas law when another person’s life is taken. Intoxication manslaughter is not as severe as murder, but it still has some severe penalties associated with it.

Under the Texas Penal Code, intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony. The courts are required to impose at least two years behind bars, but they can sentence you to up to 20 years in prison. Along with imprisonment, you could also be required to pay up to $10,000 in fines.

Punishments could go beyond what is mentioned above if more than one victim was involved. For example, three people were killed in one accident involving driving while intoxicated, so the DWI driver can be charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter. If your case involved the death of one person and another that was seriously injured, you could also face penalties for intoxicated assault.

If the person you killed was an emergency medical service personnel or firefighter who was on official duty, you could have your charge elevated to a first-degree felony under section 49.09 of the penal code. If you are found guilty, you could spend five to 99 years or life in prison.


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Intoxication Assault in Texas

Intoxication assault is similar to intoxication manslaughter except no one was killed, just seriously injured. Under section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code, intoxication assault is:

  • The operating of a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft or amusement ride while intoxicated, and because of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another person.

The courts consider serious bodily injury to be any injury that causes a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or impairment of the body. These injuries can include loss of limbs, brain injuries or the inability to walk.

If you are facing charges of intoxication assault along with intoxication manslaughter, you could be charged with an additional two to 10 years behind bars and up to $10,000 in fines.


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Additional Resources for Intoxication Manslaughter in Harris County, TX

Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses | Texas Penal Code– Read through chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code to learn more about intoxication manslaughter, intoxication assault, and other DWI related crimes. You can also read the precise legal definition for intoxicated and driving under the influence. The chapter can be read on the Texas Constitution and Statutes website.

Implied Consent | Transportation Code Chapter 724– Visit the Texas Constitution and Statutes website to familiarize yourself with the state’s implied consent laws for DWI testing. You can learn when you are required to submit to a test, information an officer is required to inform you of before a test and penalties for refusing.


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Felony Defense Lawyer for Intoxication Manslaughter in Houston, TX

Brian Benken is a compassionate attorney with the ability to make your worst nightmare of being accused of a felony crime more bearable. With years of trial experience, Brain Benken has what it takes to win or get your case dismissed. Call The Benken Law Firm today to schedule a free case consultation.

The Benken Law Firm represent clients of felony offenses in all communities across Harris County and surrounding counties such as Sunnyside, Golfcrest, Braeswood Place, Southside Place, Rice Military and many others.


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