Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Texas, but driving while intoxicated and causing an accident is a crime. If you or a loved one caused an accident while driving under the influence, you face a criminal conviction, jail time, and fines. In short, your future is at stake.
A skilled DWI defense attorney in Houston can make all the difference in your case. An experienced attorney can build a defense out of whatever facts are present—of which there should be plenty—and no matter how daunting the outlook may seem.
If you were involved in a DWI accident, our team at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates understand that you may be feeling worried, anxious, and downright scared, all feelings that are perfectly natural in the face of a criminal conviction. However, with our team on your side, you can breathe easier knowing that someone is doing everything in their power to defend your rights and your future.
Intoxication Assault and Manslaughter
In Texas, causing an accident while driving under the influence is referred to as either “intoxication assault” or “intoxication manslaughter,” depending on the extent of bodily injury to other accident victims. If your negligence caused serious bodily injury, you may be charged with intoxication assault, which is a third-degree felony in Texas.
A third-degree felony is punishable by between two and ten years in prison, fines of up to $10,000, and up to 600 hours of community service.
However, if you cause the death of one or more persons because you choose to drive under the influence, you may be charged and convicted of intoxication manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony in Texas. A second-degree felony in the state of Texas carries a punishment of between two and 20 years in prison, fines of up to $10,000, and up to 800 hours of community service. (Texas Penal Code Title 10., Section 49.01)
Your Defense in a Drunk Driving Accident Case
Though DWI accident cases seem impossible to win, there are a few viable defenses that have worked for defendants in the past. Your DWI attorney will look at the facts of your case and determine the following:
- Whether or not a field sobriety test was performed;
- Whether or not you consented to a breath test and, if so, if it was properly administered;
- Whether or not the police had grounds to search your vehicle; and
- Whether or not you were at fault for the accident.
For instance, just because you were under the influence when an accident occurred does not necessarily mean that you were the cause of the accident. If the other person would have caused the accident even if you were sober, the judge may have no choice but to reduce the charges against you to a standard DWI.
If the arresting officer performed a breath test with his or her portable breathalyzer but failed to perform a second test or a blood test at the station, the results may be used in your defense. Portable breathalyzers are hardly ever accurate, and most results from portable breath testers are inadmissible in court because of this.
There are a handful of other defenses that you can use, but in most cases, a strong defense begins with a skilled DWI attorney.
Retain the Help of an Experienced Lawyer Immediately
If you were charged with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, you need to retain the help of a Houston DWI attorney as soon as possible. The charges against you are serious, and if convicted, you risk losing two to 20 years of your life. Do not risk your future, and call the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates in League City immediately.