Intoxication Manslaughter

The attorneys at Hyatt & Hyatt defend citizens accused of all offenses arising out of intoxication, whether it’s a Public Intoxication or Intoxication Manslaughter. If you or a loved one stands accused of this or a similar crime, you need counsel that knows the law and understands the mechanics of its application.

Intoxication Manslaughter Elements

The elements of Intoxication Manslaughter, as defined by §49.08 of the Texas Penal Code are: (1) A person (2) operates a motor vehicle (3) in a public place (4) is intoxicated and (5) by reason of that intoxication (6) causes the death of another by accident or mistake. Considerations in Intoxication Manslaughter, along with other Intoxication Offenses include the fact that it is a strict liability offense. As the elements demonstrate, there is no culpable mental state required to secure a conviction. Put another way, there is no element of knowingly, intelligently, or recklessly. An individual may be found guilty of this offense for an accident without any requisite intent.

Interestingly enough, Courts do not view Felony Driving While Intoxicated as a lesser-included offense of Intoxication Manslaughter. Breaking down the elements of this offense, there are not additional elements with respect to either child passengers or prior convictions. Options of lesser-included offenses can be limited.

Intoxication Manslaughter Punishment

Per §49.08 of the Texas Penal Code, if the Prosecution meets the basic elements of the crime, Intoxication Manslaughter is a Second Degree Felony. As such, the penalty range is from 2 years to 20 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Additional punishment considerations include the class of the victim at the time of the incident. §49.09 of the Texas Penal Code allows for Intoxication Manslaughter to be tried as a First Degree Felony if it is proven at trial that the Defendant caused the death of a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical services personnel while in the actual discharge of their official duty. The punishment range on a First Degree Felony in Texas is 5 to 99 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The specific Texas Penal Code Statutes that are applicable to Intoxication Manslaughter can be found here.

Intoxication Manslaughter is an accidental crime.  Some of the most heartbreaking cases the attorneys at Hyatt & Hyatt have been involved in are Intoxication Manslaughters. Intoxication Manslaughter cases come from a variety of backgrounds and the only common-ground is that they are all tragic. The attorneys at Hyatt & Hyatt understand the legal and human issues associated with Intoxication Manslaughter.