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Choosing to get behind the wheel while drinking can result in injury or death. Texas aggressively prosecutes intoxicated manslaughter charges, so it’s important to secure an attorney and educate yourself on the intricacies of these cases. The following guide provides some answers to frequently asked questions you may have if you're facing these charges. 

A Guide to Intoxicated Manslaughter 

How is manslaughter different from homicide?

Homicide implies a killing was intentional, whereas manslaughter is unintentional or not premeditated. This distinction can affect the types of penalties you can expect. Intoxicated manslaughter falls under a second-degree felony, which can come with a 20-year prison sentence, fines of up to $10,000, and community service requirements. These consequences can increase to include a sentence of life in prison if your actions result in the death of a police officer or any emergency service personnel. 

How are these cases proven?

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Three elements must be proven to be convicted of intoxicated manslaughter. While operating a vehicle, you must have acted with criminal negligence, and it must be proven that you were driving under the influence of alcohol. Finally, your actions must have directly resulted in the death of another person.

What are the possible defenses?

The defense your attorney enlists will depend on the circumstances of the accident, but there are some common options you can discuss with them. For example, it's crucial to prove you weren’t directly responsible for the death. An example of this is if someone runs a stop sign and crashes into your car. Although you were behind the wheel intoxicated, you did not cause the accident and were therefore not directly responsible for their death.

Why is legal representation important? 

Legal representation is crucial when you’re charged with a crime, especially intoxicated manslaughter. These charges can come with hefty penalties, and an attorney is your best chance of making your case successfully. They’ll make sure you know your rights and gather evidence that could potentially remove one of the elements needed to prove your guilt.

 

If you're facing manslaughter charges, turn to Ronald D. Zipp Attorney at Law in New Braunfels, TX. Their team will be able to provide a reliable defense. This attorney will guide you through proceedings and help you understand your rights throughout the process. Call (830) 629-5600 to secure legal representation, or visit them online to request a call back.

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