If I’m Arrested for DWI and Someone Dies, What Are the Charges?

If you were arrested for DWI in Texas, the charges can vary based on a wide range of factors. Unfortunately, causing someone’s death because of personal recklessness (in this case, intoxication) elevates the punishment dramatically. You can be charged with intoxication manslaughter if you are legally found intoxicated and you kill someone by accident or mistake.

The punishments that you could be facing depend greatly on the circumstances of the case and the judge’s discretion.

State Imprisonment

Taking another person’s life is the most serious crime under Texas law. If you are charged with intoxication manslaughter, you will be facing a prison sentence of between two and 20 years in Texas state prison.

This charge also comes with mandatory minimums. For instance, if an individual is sentenced to 20 years in jail, they will be required to serve a minimum of two years before they become eligible for parole.

Recommended Read: Should I Consider a Plea Bargain for My DWI Case?

Fines and Community Service

If you are convicted of intoxication manslaughter, you will likely be required to pay fines of up to $10,000. In addition, the conviction carries a mandatory community service penalty under which you will spend a minimum of 240 hours doing community service. However, the court can also increase this penalty to 800 hours of community service.

What Should I Do If I’ve Been Drinking and I’m Involved in an Accident?

While the charges for intoxication manslaughter are serious, the penalties for fleeing the scene of a vehicle accident are a lot more serious. If you are involved in an accident, do not leave the scene.

We understand the anxiousness you may feel if you’ve been drinking and then you’ve been driving and become involved in an accident. The whole experience can be overwhelming, but put those emotions aside and make sure you provide the injured the help they need. If you flee the scene, you will be facing much harsher punishments. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s also the law.

A hit-and-run, or Failure to Give Information or Render Aid as it’s known under Texas law, is a criminal offense that can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. The law requires that if you are involved in an accident in which property has been damaged (minor or severe) or someone has been injured or has died, you must stop your vehicle and remain at the scene.

That said, you may still face charges for the accident if you are at fault and DWI if you are found legally intoxicated. After you’ve been bailed out, call a DWI lawyer as soon as you can. As an aggressive criminal defense attorney based in the Greater Houston area, Attorney JL Carpenter has handled many DWI cases over the years. Her track record speaks for itself.

Recommended Read: Arrested for a DWI in Texas? Use These Strategies to Make Your Charges Easier to Fight

Being arrested for DWI is traumatic enough, but add in the layers associated with a vehicle accident or—even worse—a fatality, and this situation can be overwhelming. Attorney Carpenter can walk you through the next steps, helping you make informed decisions as she defends your rights.

Click here for a closer look at her reviews. Once you’re ready, call JL to start protecting your future, freedom, and rights.