When a person is charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas, there are circumstances that can lead to serious issues that go beyond the basic DWI allegations and penalties if there is a conviction. For example, if there is a car accident in which another person is injured or killed, the person who is charged might face intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. Understanding the law is an important part of formulating a defense strategy.
If a driver is operating a vehicle in a public location while under the influence and there is a crash with a person suffering a serious bodily injury, there can be a charge of intoxication assault. With serious bodily injury, the victim will have a substantial danger of dying or having disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of a part of the body. This is a third-degree felony.
If a driver operates a vehicle under the influence in a public location and causes the death of another person, it can be intoxication manslaughter. This will be due to an accident or by making a mistake. When this charge is applied, it is a second-degree felony.
For people who are confronted with charges related to intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, the penalties can be life-changing. Jail, hefty fines, the loss of driving privileges and more can result. While it is a terrible thing for a person to be severely injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash, that does not mean the accused person is automatically guilty of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. People accused of these violations in a drunk driving case should lodge a strong defense against the charges they face, with the aim of having the charges reduced or dropped altogether.