Punishments for intoxication manslaughter charges are much more severe than any standard DWI charge, but what specifically is the sentence for intoxication manslaughter in Texas? We’ll tell you up top, if you are convicted of intoxication manslaughter in Texas you’re likely looking at 2 – 20 years in prison. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced and aggressive intoxication manslaughter lawyer to defend your freedom.

Mark Thiessen is a 10-time Texas Super Lawyer, an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, and is the only lawyer in America who is 4x board certified in: 

  1. Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  2. DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense as approved through the American Bar Association
  3. DUI Law by the DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  4. Board Certified Advocate in Criminal Trial Law by the NBTA Foundation

If a DWI Specialist can’t beat your intoxication manslaughter charge, we don’t know who can. Got a case you can’t lose? Call Mark Thiessen at Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000. 

What is intoxication manslaughter in Texas?

The intoxication manslaughter penal code is located in Texas Penal Code § 49.08, which states that a person commits an intoxication manslaughter offense when they: 

  • operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated; and
  • by reason of that intoxication cause the death of another individual.

Intoxication manslaughter is a charge unique to Texas (called either gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or intoxication vehicular manslaughter in other states) that essentially amounts to DWI with a count of manslaughter. 

While you will not face individual charges for DWI and vehicular manslaughter, a charge for intoxication manslaughter in Texas essentially carries the severe penalties associated with both. 

What is the average sentence for intoxication manslaughter?

The average sentence for intoxication manslaughter in Texas is between 2 and 20 years. If you are convicted of intoxication manslaughter you can expect the following punishments:

  • 2 – 20 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000 to the state
  • $2,000 per year in DWI surcharges
  • 240 – 1,040 hours of community service
  • 6 months – 2 years of license suspension

What is the penalty for first time intoxication manslaughter? Unlike regular first-offense DWI charges, first-time intoxication manslaughter charges are not misdemeanor offenses. You can expect to spend some time in prison if convicted.

If convicted is the key phrase. If you want to avoid spending time in prison and losing your freedom you need to hire the best felony DWI lawyer Houston has to offer. Charges for intoxication manslaughter can ruin your life, and the only way to clear your name is to be found Not Guilty. 

Can you get probation for intoxication manslaughter in Texas?

Getting probation for intoxication manslaughter in Texas is incredibly unlikely, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. There are a couple of things to note on the subject of probation:

  1. Even if you do get probation, you will have to spend a minimum of 180 days in jail. Because intoxication manslaughter charges come with minimum sentences, even if you are granted probation you will have to spend some time in jail.
  2. You should be shooting for a Not Guilty verdict. Being granted probation means that you have been convicted of intoxication manslaughter and are now a felon. While 180 days certainly beats 20 years in jail, you and your lawyer should be attempting to win your case, not get you probation. 

If winning an intoxication manslaughter case sounds difficult, it’s because it is. Trust us, we’ve won a handful of them. But how exactly do DWI lawyers win high-stakes intox manslaughter cases? Read some of our Notable Victories here or keep reading for a list of some common defense strategies. 

What are some defenses for intoxication manslaughter?

Defending an intoxication manslaughter case is hard, but it isn’t impossible. Mark Thiessen and the intoxication manslaughter attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm have actually won multiple intoxication manslaughter cases, which not many DWI lawyers can say they have. 

The more common defenses involved in a DWI case include the following:

  • Lack of intoxication. The main defense to any DWI charge is challenging that the accused was beyond a reasonable doubt intoxicated at the time of the incident. If the prosecution cannot prove that the accused was intoxicated, there is no charge for intoxication manslaughter. This is usually done by challenging the toxicology reports, the police work, or arguing that the accused’s rights were infringed upon. 
  • Contributory negligence. In order to be charged with intoxication manslaughter, the accused has to have been driving under the influence and caused a fatality by reason of that intoxication. If the victim or a third party actually caused the accident, there is no charge for intoxication manslaughter. 
  • Pre-existing conditions. This is another argument surrounding causation. Whether it be a medical issue, a problem with a road, or an environmental hazard, your attorney will attempt to argue that preexisting conditions which were not in the defendant’s control were actually what caused the accident. 

Your attorney can also pursue the avenue of rehabilitation through a treatment program or enter plea bargaining because of special circumstances, but as we said earlier, whether it’s your first ever DWI or you’re fighting two counts of intoxication manslaughter, you and your DWI attorney should be aiming for a Not Guilty verdict, not a plea deal. 

Continue reading about how we win intoxication manslaughter cases

Staring down a sentence for intoxication manslaughter in Texas? Call Thiessen Law Firm today.

Sentences for intoxication manslaughter in Texas are much too steep to gamble by hiring any old lawyer to represent you. If you want to walk away with your freedom, you need to hire the best intoxication manslaughter attorney Houston has to offer. 

When searching for an intoxication manslaughter law firm to take your case, you’ll want to ask yourself one big question: have they actually won intoxication manslaughter cases?

At Thiessen Law Firm, we have. Mark Thiessen and the trial lawyers at Thiessen Law Firm like nothing more than to take a difficult case to trial and win it for our clients. 

We know what you’re up against and we know what it takes to beat it. Call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. 

More Helpful Articles by Thiessen Law Firm:

Thiessen Law Firm

Mark Thiessen is an aggressive trial lawyer best known for his devotion to justice for his clients and high rank as a DWI Super Lawyer in Texas.