R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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Woman charged in car accident that kills her relative

A Texas car accident has left one woman dead and another facing criminal charges. The accident happened at the intersection of Loop 410 and IH 10 East at approximately 2:30 a.m. on March 15. According to police, the 25-year-old woman was allegedly driving while intoxicated and veered her SUV to the right. That maneuver caused the SUV to roll over.

A 26-year-old passenger was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was taken to the hospital with injuries that were described as non-life-threatening. The two women were reportedly related to each other.

The driver was charged with intoxication manslaughter. If convicted, she could be sentenced to probation, fines, a loss of driving privileges and time in prison. There was no word from police as to whether she had prior convictions for DUI. If so, her penalties could be more severe. While not always the case, sentences for repeat drunk driving offenders are generally more severe than those for first-time offenders.

Sentences can also be more serious if the alleged drunk driving leads to an accident that causes injury or death. The accused could consult with a DUI defense attorney to determine whether she should fight the charges or negotiate a plea. The attorney may look at any supporting evidence, such as any tests performed by police officers, to decide whether a conviction seems likely at trial. If so, the attorney may recommend that the accused accept a plea deal and avoid trial. A plea deal could result in reduced charges and penalties. Pleas are often reached just before a trial is scheduled to begin, so it may not be necessary for the accused to immediately decide on the best option.

Source: KABB, "Woman killed in alleged DWI crash", March 15, 2014

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