What the State Must Prove
Vehicular or Intoxicated Assaults, and Intoxicated Manslaughter usually involve 1) Traffic Accidents 2) Death or Serious Injury 3) One of the Drivers (usually the driver at fault) is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Punishments are harsh and an aggressive representation is essential. The State must prove 1) Intoxication 2) An accident or mistake that caused the accident 3) Serious bodily injury or death. Serious bodily injury is an injury that creates a risk of death, permanent disfigurement, or impairment of a bodily function.
The Possible Punishments for Intoxication Assault
These cases are typically charged as Aggravated Assaults with a Deadly Weapon or Aggravated Assaults with a Deadly Weapon Serious Bodily Injury. They are classified as 3(g) offenses by the Texas Penal Code. This means that if someone is found guilty of this kind of offense they must do half of their prison sentence day for day before they are eligible for parole. Also, a person can only get probation with the permission of the jury, and the accused cannot receive probation from a judge. If a plea bargain is reached deferred adjudication can only be applied for with the State's permission, and each victim is considered a separate charge so that each sentence can be run consecutively or concurrently at the judge's discretion. Additionally, this felony is a third degree felony and the range of punishment is 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections (prison).
Possible Punishment for Intoxication Manslaughter
The possible punishment is two to twenty years in prison. Community Supervision (probation) is available if the person qualifies (has no felony priors). Also, Deferred Adjudication may be negotiated for if the State will allow an application.
If you are accused of an Intoxicated or Vehicular Assault, or Intoxication Manslaughter your whole life depends on finding an attorney who can get you the best possible result. This means questioning the State's evidence and negotiating with prosecutors while exploring possible plea bargains. An aggressive defense attorney will question every piece of the State's evidence. An aggressive attorney will question whether or not you were intoxicated and if you caused the accident. There are tremendous pressures on prosecutors to file these kinds of charges. You need an attorney who challenges their assumptions and encourages the judge, the jury, or the prosecutor to come to a different conclusion
Questions your Lawyer Should Ask
A good lawyer asks good questions. Every element the State has to prove is a potential weakness in the State's case. Some of the questions that must be asked are; 1) Was evidence properly collected? 2) Was that evidence properly tested? 3) Did the police do an adequate job investigating the cause of the accident? 4) Would an independent accident reconstructionist come to a different conclusion? Asking these questions might create answers that may be helpful in the plea bargain or trial phase of your case, and asking questions may make the difference between freedom or living your life as a convicted felon.
What to Expect from Your Lawyer
After you leave our office we should have a clear understanding of your goals. You should have a clear understanding of what strategies we will employ to achieve your goals. It is never too early to begin solving your criminal defense problem. Please give us a call and schedule your free consultation.