Texas is serious about pursuing and prosecuting drivers who are accused of alcohol or drug-related violations behind the wheel. There is a planned enforcement blitz coinciding with the end of summer and Labor Day celebrations. Being charged with driving while intoxicated can cause a litany of problems including incarceration, hefty fines, lost driving privileges and a negative perception in the community.
When there is an accident and others are injured or lose their lives, the penalties are significantly worse and, depending on the severity, the person accused will likely face heftier charges. Often, people do not know the difference between intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter. When crafting a defense against the allegations, it is vital to know the law, the penalties and what options are available as part of a defense.
What is the difference between intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter?
Intoxication assault is generally viewed as being associated with driving an automobile under the influence, but the charge can be levied against someone who was operating an aircraft, a watercraft or an amusement ride. After an accident in which others suffered serious bodily injury that led to impairment or loss of function of a bodily organ or member or they suffered permanent disfigurement, there may be a charge of intoxication assault. Intoxication manslaughter has the same basic tenets, but instead of injury, there was a fatality stemming from an accident or a mistake.
Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony with between two and 10 years’ incarceration and a possible fine of up to $10,000. Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony with the potential for incarceration of at least two years and as much as 20 years. They can also be fined up to $10,000.
When facing these serious charges, it is imperative to think about a strong defense
Although it is undeniably unfortunate when there are injuries and death after an accident, it does not necessarily mean that alcohol or drugs were the primary cause despite allegations that this is the case. The testing procedure could have been flawed, the evidence faulty or the person accused had a viable explanation for appearing to have been drunk or on drugs. When facing intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter charges, it is vital to have a strong criminal defense that is experienced with these accusations to assess the case and try to find a viable solution to avoid the worst possible penalties.