Drunk Driving Accidents Often Result in Death
Intoxication Manslaughter is a Felony Offense
When such an accident occurs, the person causing the accident may invoke a defense such as, “It was an accident.” The Texas courts, however, look upon this sort of “accident” as a crime of negligence, and it is punishable depending on the severity of the incident as well as the official record (if any), of the driver causing the accident. When fatalities occur, the driver of the vehicle will be charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter.
Obviously, the risk is scarcely worth taking. Each year, however, thousands drink in bars and lounges or in their homes or the homes of friends. At some point, they decide to drive home. A sad adjunct to alcoholic beverages is that the effects of the alcohol are such that people daily fail to realize how impaired their reflexes and thinking are, after even a few drinks.
It should be remembered that if you’re apprehended after having even a drink or two, you may be liable under this section of the state penal code. This offense is labeled a misdemeanor.
Felony Offenses & Public Misconceptions
Many have the impression that felonies are reserved for very serious crimes, while a misdemeanor is a slap on the wrist, i.e. a fine for speeding in a school zone. This is, however, far from the truth. A misdemeanor can be plenty serious and include a 72-hour minimum in jail. This 72-hour lockup is only the beginning of a long and embarrassing process that includes a good deal of expense. The 72-hours can easily turn into a mandatory sentence as well when the court hears your offense and any defense you may have to offer.
Texas Open Container Violations
If you have an open container of an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle at the time of arrest, your offense becomes a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum jail time of six days. If your blood or urine analysis shows an alcoholic concentration of as little as 0.15, your offense will become a Class A misdemeanor.
Criminal Penalties for Drunk Driving Offenses
Even the minimum of jail time and fines constitute an embarrassing and usually very costly dive into your pocketbook, but depending on circumstances, this can cost your job, cause havoc in your home and — should you have been involved in a vehicular accident — become extremely costly due to insurance issues as well as cause loss of insurance or greatly increased rates.
Even if allowed to present such evidence after having shown reasonable suspicion, it is still perhaps illegal for him to present evidence of DWI.
Suspicion of DWI
For example, if you go through a red light in Houston, TX and are stopped, the officer may write a citation for this. If during the stop, he decides you’ve been drinking, he may, in court explain why you’ve been held for longer than the time necessary to give you the citation.
Your attorney may easily show that the arresting officer did so without probable cause. The officer’s decision may have been based solely on such subjective observations as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, etc. Or possibly the arresting officer failed to tell you your Miranda rights. Another frequently successful defense strategy would be for your lawyer to challenge the accuracy of the blood and/or alcohol tests.
There are a number of useful and valid defense strategies to make certain that the court cannot convict you on flimsy or inaccurate evidence. Technically speaking, your Houston DWI Lawyer shouldn’t have to do anything except to be your watchdog in the courtroom. His or her function is to make certain any charges levied against you are legal and provable and that through each step of the hearing, you’re treated in a fair and honest way, according to the laws that apply in your case.