R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Texas has little tolerance for DUIs

Police have charged a 22-year-old man in connection with a June 15 accident that left one man dead and another in critical condition in the Houston metropolitan region. The man was driving a Dodge Charger northbound on State Highway 6 when he rear-ended a Chevrolet 2500 pickup truck. The Chevrolet truck lurched and entered the southbound lanes where it collided head-on with a Dodge Ram. The driver of the Chevrolet pickup sustained fatal injuries; the driver and passengers of the Dodge Ram were hospitalized.

The Dodge Charger apparently driver fled on foot but was apprehended an hour and a half later. Accident investigators allege that he had been drinking. He has been charged with intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle and intoxicated assault with a vehicle that caused serious bodily injury. He is out of jail on a $30,000 bond.

Texas has no tolerance for driving while intoxicated. If convicted, offenders face a sentence of two to 20 years in a Texas Department of Corrections penitentiary and a fine of up to $10,000. Intoxicated assault with a vehicle is considered to be a third degree felony in Texas.

Probation is within the range of possible punishment upon conviction, but it is up to the judge's discretion. If probation is granted, one of the conditions of probation is a mandatory jail sentence for a minimum of 120 days. The individual would be responsible for paying all associated court costs and would be evaluated for alcohol and drug treatment programs. Judges have the discretion to implement any other conditions on probation that they see fit.

Individuals facing alcohol-related charges could benefit from enlisting the aid of a criminal defense attorney. An attorney could examine the evidence and ensure that it was collected in a legal fashion. If the evidence is determined to be applicable, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain.

Source: Texas Penal Code, "Section 49.08. Intoxication Manslaughter," Jan. 1, 2000.

Source: Texas Penal Code, "Section 12.33. Second Degree Felony Punishment," Sept. 1, 1994.

Source: Texas Penal Code, "Section 49.07. Intoxication Assault," Jan. 1, 2000.

Source: Texas Code of Criminal Procedures, "Chapter 42 Judgment And Sentence," Aug. 11, 2007.

Source: Houston Chronicle, "Houston Drunk driver charged in wreck that killed 1, injured 3", Jayme Fraser, June 16, 2013

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