Dallas Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Lawyer
In Dallas, law enforcement and the courts take DWI charges seriously. When an individual is killed in a suspected drunk driving collision, they will often aggressively seek intoxication manslaughter charges. Dallas intoxication manslaughter attorney Mark Lassiter understands the severity of these charges, and as a former prosecutor, knows how the prosecution will pursue the case. He also firmly believes that an accusation does not mean a conviction, and is here to fight for you.
The sooner you contact the drunk driving defense lawyers of Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, the sooner we can discuss the details of your arrest and the circumstances surrounding it. Together, we can build a strong, persuasive defense. We will work tirelessly to help reduce the impact of the arrest on your life and may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. You don’t have to accept the charges you face, and we are here to help. Schedule a confidential case evaluation with us by calling (214) 845-7007 or by filling out a contact form online.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Intoxication manslaughter is a serious criminal charge that presents an imminent threat to your way of life and can negatively affect your life for years to come. You may be facing a penalty that may strip you of 20 years of your freedom. A penalty such as this will drastically affect not only your life but the lives of your loved ones as well. The charges make the future unclear for you and your family. The coming months will be difficult, emotionally and perhaps financially.
The criminal legal system is intimidating and complex. You need an experienced guide to help you find your way through these charges. Hiring a local attorney with years of experience and familiarity with the law is essential. An experienced lawyer will investigate the specifics of your case, present you with your options, and fight for you in the courtroom.
An experienced attorney knows how to conduct a thorough investigation to determine why the accident happened and identify all of the parties responsible. This attorney has access to valuable resources which can be used to defend you. A skilled attorney, such as one from Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can speak for you to the police, to the prosecuting attorney, and even the judge. As a well-qualified attorney, they know the law.
Under our legal system, defendants have rights, and an attorney will help protect your rights. One of the most important rights is the right not to incriminate yourself. Your attorney can help make sure that you do not say anything that can be used against you. For this reason, it is important that you have legal representation as soon as possible to assist you as you deal with a charge of intoxication manslaughter.
The goal is to have the charge of intoxication manslaughter dropped. Given the circumstances of your case, this goal may not be realistic. However, with the help of an intoxication manslaughter defense attorney, the charges you are facing could potentially be reduced.
If you are convicted of a crime, representation by a knowledgeable defense attorney may help to significantly reduce any penalty which you ultimately receive. Studies show that defendants represented by attorneys have a better outcome than those who do not have representation.
Why Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter?
Mark Lassiter is a professional criminal defense lawyer with years of first-hand experience. As a former Dallas County Prosecutor, he knows how the prosecution will approach your case, so he knows what he needs to do to defend you. Attorney Lassiter treats each of his cases with attention to detail, diligence, and desire to ensure the rights of his clients are respected. His status as a member of several prestigious associations, including Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice, and the Texas Young Lawyers Association, is an indication of his track record of excellent communication, diligent casework, and trustworthiness. Attorney Lassiter will work hard to try to minimize the punishment you receive or, if possible, get the charges dropped.
What Is Intoxication Manslaughter?
Intoxication manslaughter differs from vehicular manslaughter in that intoxication while driving is presumed to be a reckless act. Because reckless driving is assumed, it doesn’t need to be proved as it would for vehicular manslaughter. The statute in Texas regarding intoxication and vehicular manslaughter is Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 19.
Intoxication manslaughter can involve the death of a passenger in your car, the death of an occupant of another car involved in the accident, or the death of a pedestrian. Under the law, death may occur at the accident scene or later in time because of injuries which were sustained in the accident.
People become intoxicated when they ingest a drug or chemical that causes them to be drunk, high, or otherwise impaired. Intoxication commonly results from alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription medication, or any combination thereof. Intoxication causes your mental and/or physical abilities to be impaired, making it challenging to operate a vehicle correctly. Law enforcement measures intoxication through a variety of tests, including blood alcohol tests, drug tests, and field sobriety tests. You may have been legally intoxicated, even if you didn’t feel drunk or high.
Although intoxication manslaughter can seem an unassailable charge against you, intoxication must be proved to be the cause of the victim’s death for the offender to be guilty. If, for example, an intoxicated driver hits and kills another driver, but the victim had run a red light causing the accident, the offender could be guilty of DUI but not of intoxication manslaughter. Determining who is at fault for an accident is often complicated. Hiring experienced alcohol offense attorney Mark Lassiter will ensure that the circumstances of the incident are thoroughly investigated, because he understands that the details make the difference.
Frequently Asked Questions
The circumstances of each incident are unique, and the coming legal process will present many questions that need answers. Mark Lassiter is prepared to handle all of your questions and will give shrewd legal advice. Here are some of the questions clients frequently ask.
Do intoxicated manslaughter charges always involve a motor vehicle?
Intoxication manslaughter charges can be levied even if a motor vehicle, such as a car or truck, is not involved. According to the Texas Penal Code, intoxication manslaughter charges can be levied when the offender was operating a motor vehicle, an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembling a mobile amusement ride.
What are the penalties for intoxication manslaughter?
Under Texas state law, an intoxication manslaughter conviction may entail a number of serious consequences, including the following:
- Felon status
- Up to 20 years in a state penitentiary
- Up to $10,000 in fines
The professional and personal consequences alone of being a felon will likely affect you the rest of your life. It can affect your ability to find a job and find housing, and also permanently damage your relationships and your reputation.
Texas state law specifies a prison sentence for an intoxication manslaughter conviction of between 2 and 20 years. The judge has a large amount of discretion when sentencing a defendant, and a well-qualified attorney knows how to present a compelling argument for a lesser sentence. Even if you are convicted, having good legal representation may spare you from spending the maximum penalty of 20 years of your life behind bars.
What defenses can be used to reduce or drop the charges against me?
Unfortunately, intoxication manslaughter is considered a second-degree felony. The penalties for it are steep to deter others from taking the same reckless action. It will be prosecuted aggressively, and plea deals are rarely accepted. However, there are several possible defenses that may get the charges against you dropped or reduced.
For example, the validity of the blood alcohol test you took may be questioned. Perhaps the officer who administered it was not trained properly, or maybe the technology was faulty. Introducing doubt such as this could get the charges dropped because criminal charges must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Another possible defense is if the death of the victim occurred a long period of time after the accident. The prosecutor will have to prove that the victim died of injuries caused by the accident, (which in turn must have been undoubtedly caused by the offender’s intoxication) or there is not enough proof to find the offender guilty.
Contact a Dallas Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, our Dallas legal team understands how frightening intoxication manslaughter charges can be; we will aggressively defend your rights at every stage of the legal process. To confidentially discuss the particulars of your case with one of our Dallas lawyers today, please call (214) 845-7007.