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500 Main St, Suite J, Kerrville, TX 78028

Kerrville DWI Manslaughter Attorney Protects the Rights of Drivers Charged in Deadly Accidents

Kerr County firm defends motorists accused of intoxication manslaughter in Texas

If you’re charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the penalties you face are bad enough. However, if you are accused of causing a fatal vehicle accident while you were intoxicated, a conviction could lead to years of incarceration. At the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. in Kerrville, I understand what’s at stake for someone accused of intoxication manslaughter and work diligently to achieve the most favorable resolution possible for defendants in these cases, whether that is a dismissal, acquittal or reduction in the charge. 

What is DWI manslaughter?

A driver who is believed to have caused a fatal vehicle crash because they were impaired by alcohol or drugs might be accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI) manslaughter, which is a felony of the second degree. An even more serious charge, aggravated DWI manslaughter, is a felony of the first degree. These cases arise when the victim is a law enforcement officer, firefighter or emergency medical technician. As an experienced Texas DWI attorney, I know how to mount the best defense possible, regardless of the circumstances.

Penalties for intoxication manslaughter

Punishment for someone convicted of DWI manslaughter can include between two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. You might also have to perform 240 to 800 hours of community service. The penalties for aggravated DWI manslaughter are even stiffer. Incarceration can run from five to 99 years in prison, and some defendants even receive a life sentence. I understand these dire consequences of these and other penalties for DWI in Texas and will make every legal effort to help you avoid them.  

Defense strategies to beat charges of DWI manslaughter

The State of Texas has the burden of proving all of the elements of DWI manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, there are several ways to defend against a DWI manslaughter charge, although what defenses and tactics are appropriate to use on your behalf will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Potential ways to counter this type of allegation include the following:

  • Challenge the admissibility and validity of the evidence, such as eyewitness testimony and intoxication test results
  • Present evidence that the defendant was not intoxicated
  • Present evidence that the defendant was not driving
  • Present evidence that the defendant’s intoxication did not cause the victim’s death

In these matters, I conduct a thorough investigation of the fatal accident and assemble a strong defense team, which could include accident reconstruction, intoxication and medical experts.

Factors that can impact your manslaughter charges

If you’re charged with DWI manslaughter, you’re also likely to be charged with additional DWI charges, which may factor into the penalties you may receive upon conviction. Depending on the circumstances of your case, these factors may include:

  • Your BAC level
  • Whether you have any prior DWI convictions
  • Whether you had a minor passenger in the car
  • Whether you had an open alcoholic beverage container in your vehicle

My firm will consider each charge and I will prepare a comprehensive defense strategy aimed achieving the best outcome possible.

Can a passenger be charged with intoxication manslaughter?

Generally speaking, a passenger can’t be convicted of intoxication manslaughter, because they do not have the ability to operate the car or truck. The only possible exception would be if an intoxicated passenger seized control of the vehicle, such as by grabbing the steering wheel.

Contact a skillful Texas defense attorney to discuss a DWI manslaughter case

Trust the Law Firm of Richard L. Ellison, P.C. represents Texas motorists accused of DWI manslaughter. Please call 830-955-8168 or contact me online to schedule an appointment.