Published on

Austin DWI Lawyer, Austin Criminal Lawyer, Austin Intoxication Manslaughter Lawyer

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. You’ve Been Arrested For Intoxication Manslaughter. Now What? Advice from Austin DWI Lawyer Charles JohnsonIf you or someone you know has recently beenarrested and charged with intoxicationmanslaughter, it is crucial that you remain silentand hire an exceptionally qualified lawyer todefend you. While law enforcement is required toadvise you of your legal rights, they are alsocharged with the duty of trying to coerce youfor information that could be used againstyou in the case that prosecutors are alreadystarting to build. Whether you are madepromises of leniency, or are threatened withharsher punishment for not talking, it is highlyadvised that you tell them you do not wish toanswer questions without your attorney present.At the Charles Johnson Law Firm, our seasoned legal representatives are extremely well versed and highlyexperienced in cases that pertain to a wide range of DWI defense matters, including intoxicationmanslaughter.No one truly intends to commit intoxication manslaughter. They do not wake up and say “I’m going to getdrunk tonight and drive and see who gets in my way.” Accidents do happen and tragically, someone can die.Mitigating factors are thoroughly checked out such as whether the person broke any traffic laws, was drivingwith a suspended license, or if the person was negligent in some way. These are usually tried asmisdemeanors. However, if a person is found to be intoxicated or under the influence of something, it istreated in Texas as a second degree felony and the prosecution goes after the person diligently. Inintoxication manslaughter cases, the prosecution only has to prove that the driver was indeed, intoxicated.The term of incarceration could be anything from two years to twenty years.If you have been charged with DWI after being in an accident that involved a death, you may be facing veryserious charges of intoxication manslaughter. It is imperative that you speak with Austin CriminalLawyer Charles Johnson as soon as possible after you have been charged, or think you may becharged. Attorney Johnson has the experience you can rely on for aggressive and effective defense strategiesagainst the charges. The skilled attorneys at the Charles Johnson Law Firm do not believe there is any suchthing as being slam-dunk guilty. No matter what the circumstances of the accident are, your personal story isbehind the charges and will make a difference in the outcome of your case. We will make sure that the judgeand jury know that this isn’t just about an intoxication manslaughter case. It is about you and your family.Intoxication manslaughter is a Second Degree felony which holds people liable for any death which occursbecause of criminal negligence, or a violation of traffic safety laws. A common use of the vehicularmanslaughter laws involves prosecution for a death caused by driving under the influence (determined byexcessive blood alcohol content levels set by individual U.S. states), although an independent infraction (suchas driving with a suspended driver’s license), or negligence, is usually also required. 1
  2. 2. Intoxication manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter and other similar offences require a lesser mens rea (Latinfor “guilty mind”. In criminal law, it is viewed as one of the necessary elements of a crime) than othermanslaughter offenses. Furthermore, the fact that the defendant is entitled to use the alcohol, controlledsubstance, drug, dangerous drug, or other substance, is no defense. For example, in Texas, to proveintoxication manslaughter, it is not necessary to prove the person was negligent in causing the death ofanother, nor that they unlawfully used the substance that intoxicated them, but only that they wereintoxicated, and operated a motor vehicle, and someone died as a result.Types of Intoxication ManslaughterIn Texas, intoxication manslaughter does not only apply to automobile drivers. Individuals may be chargedwith this crime under any of the following circumstances:  If they are operating a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other type of motorized vehicle in a public place  If they are operating a boat, airplane, or amusement park ride  If they assemble an amusement park rideIf the alleged offender has done any of these things while intoxicated, and someone was killed by the vehiclethey were operating or had assembled, they can be convicted of intoxication manslaughter. There is norequirement that the prosecutor prove negligence, that their intoxication was the direct cause of the crash, orthat they were behaving unlawfully by using the substance that caused their intoxication.Defenses For Intoxication ManslaughterIntoxication manslaughter cases should be attacked on two fronts if the case is going to trial. Notwithstandingwhether a person is or is not intoxicated, a good lawyer would examine the Texas Peace Officer collision reportwhich was completed as part of the investigation. Just because a driver may be intoxicated does not meanthat he should be held criminally liable for the death of another.There have been cases where the deceased driver was as much at fault if not more at fault than the accused.Examples could include the deceased having run a red light, the deceased having operated his motor vehicleat night without lights, the deceased also being intoxicated, the deceased merging improperly into traffic, andthe list goes on. A lawyer familiar with crash reconstruction and who has worked with reconstruction expertsshould be able to present this defense if it is available. The issue is one of causation and is set forth in Tex.Penal Code Section 6.04. In a nutshell, what 6.04 states is that if an accused’s conduct is insufficient in itselfto cause the result, and the conduct of another contributed to the result and the contributing cause wassufficient to cause the result, the accused cannot be held liable.A good accident reconstruction expert’s report may convince a prosecutor to agree to probation if causation isquestionable. That in itself may be worth the investment in hiring both a reconstruction expert and a lawyerwho knows how to present such findings.The second line of defense is whether a person is intoxicated. Scientific evidence can be compelling for a jury.However, the State is allowed to rely upon opinion evidence based upon observations such as lack ofcoordination, blood shot eyes, smell of intoxicants on breath, slurred speech etc. Some of these symptomcould be explained by lack of sleep, allergies, injury, but not all. 2
  3. 3. Most police departments have on board video cameras and video may very well have been used in this case.Video can be a two-edge sword. Many a video has convinced a defendant to make the best deal possible,while other videos have convinced an accused to take it to trialIn blood draws/test results, there are several considerations. A blood sample can be lost, yet there can be amedical record from a laboratory stating what the test result is. In fact, most hospitals don’t retain the bloodsamples, but for a very short period. If the blood draw was for medical treatment, sometimes there is a chainof custody problem that makes admission of the medical records unreliable. Most courts, when dealing with achain of custody issue on medical records as the result of medical treatment rule that any problems goes tothe weight of the evidence, not the admissibility, that is, the records gets admitted but the defense lawyergets to argue that it is not reliable because of the poor chain of custody.Mandatory blood draws can be attacked, however, you should hire a lawyer familiar with the statutory andadministrative requirements for blood draws.Hire the Best Austin Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Lawyer: The CharlesJohnson Law FirmWhen you are charged with intoxication manslaughter or intoxication assault, you have more than just theprosecutor against you. You have the victim’s family and the public screaming for your head. You don’t haveto go through this alone. The Charles Johnson Law Firm will fight aggressively to protect your rights and yourfuture.After a car accident in which there has been a fatality, it is anextremely upsetting situation for everyone involved. Law enforcementwill collect evidence at the scene and this evidence is an important partof the documentation of the case. It is crucial that if you have beencharged with intoxication manslaughter that you contact The CharlesJohnson Law Firm quickly. The evidence in the case can be reviewedand an attorney can advise you what can be done in your case. AustinDWI Lawyer Charles Johnson can offer a free evaluation of your case,and it is advised that you take advantage of this so it can bedetermined what can be done and what options may be possible inyour case.Austin DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson can be reached directly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Call us at 512-832-1200 or toll free at 877-308-0100.Major Credit Cards AcceptedPosts Related to Youve Been Arrested For Intoxication Manslaughter. NowWhat? Advice from Austin DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson  Arrested for DWI in the Austin Area? Hire the Best Austin DWI Lawyer Charles Johnson The Charles Johnson Law Firm provides the highest level of representation in assisting our clients through the rigors of a DWI case. After you are ... 3
  4. 4.  Welcome to My Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog On behalf of the Charles Johnson Law Firm: If you face criminal prosecution, you want an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to protect your constitutional rights. ...  Austin Criminal Defense Attorney » Charged With DWI? Discover How to Beat It. When the police suspect an individual has been driving under the influence, they will ask him/her to perform a series of standard tests, also named ...  Allegations of Sexual Assault of a Child: Youll Need the Best Austin Criminal Lawyer This type of sexual accusation can be devastating in every aspect of your life. Sexual allegations where children are involved are delicate and complicated cases ...  The Best Austin Criminal Lawyer » Facing A Drug Distribution Case? Our approach to defending drug crime charges is successful because we aggressively defend our clients rights. Call Austin Criminal Lawyer Charles Johnson right now, anytime ...Original article may be found at:You’ve Been Arrested For Intoxication Manslaughter. Now What? Advice from Austin DWI LawyerCharles JohnsonAustin Lawyer Charles JohnsonSolving Problems...Every Day® Johnson Law Firm111 Congress, Suite 400Austin, TX 78701E-Mail: charlesjohnson@austinlawyer.comPhone: (512) 832-1200Toll-Free: (877) 308-0100Map to Office 4