San Antonio Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney

San Antonio Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney

Being charged with intoxication manslaughter in San Antonio can change your life. Since the death of another person is involved, Texas law imposes severe consequences that include a lengthy prison sentence, substantial fines and fees, loss of your driver’s license, and a permanent felony record. These criminal penalties can shatter your career and reputation, not to mention leave a lasting mark on your future.

Although it’s normal to be alarmed, being charged does not automatically lead to a conviction. There are legal avenues and defenses available that can influence the outcome of your case. A San Antonio intoxication manslaughter lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and defend your rights, so if you’ve been charged or think that you’re about to be, call Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC immediately.

Why Hire Hunter, Lane & Jampala for Your Criminal Defense?

At Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC, we understand the high stakes involved in an intoxication manslaughter charge and are here to help you protect your rights and future. When you hire our firm to defend you, you benefit from the following advantages:

  • Collaborative Approach: Our experienced defense lawyers have a long history of working together on criminal cases. These collaborative efforts ensure that you benefit from a team-based strategy.
  • Extensive Experience: With years of combined experience in criminal defense, our seasoned attorneys have successfully handled a wide range of cases. We can address your intoxication manslaughter charges with diligence and professionalism.
  • Zealous Advocacy: We provide passionate and aggressive representation in both courtroom and appellate settings. We are committed to fighting for your rights and achieving the best possible conclusion for your case.
  • Innovative Solutions: Our criminal defense attorneys are known for crafting bold and creative solutions to difficult charges. We strive to find the most effective legal strategies tailored to your situation.
  • Proven Track Record: We have a proven track record of success in defending clients against a variety of criminal charges. Our dedication and skill have resulted in favorable outcomes for many clients, reinforcing our reputation as a trusted criminal defense firm.

Choosing Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC means choosing a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys who will fight diligently for your rights. Contact us today to discuss your case and learn how we can help you.

What is Intoxication Manslaughter in San Antonio?

Under Texas Penal Code Section 49.08, intoxication manslaughter occurs when someone operates a motor vehicle (or aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride) in a public place while intoxicated and, as a result, accidentally or mistakenly causes the death of another person. It is a second-degree felony offense, with harsh penalties that include:

  • Two to 20 years in prison
  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Driver’s license suspension of 180 days to two years

If convicted, you may also be required to install an interlock device on your vehicle, perform between 240 and over 800 hours of community service, and complete an alcohol or drug education program.

Intoxication manslaughter can escalate to a first-degree felony charge if it results in the death of a firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, or police officer on duty. A first-degree felony carries even harsher penalties of up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.

It is important to note that intoxication manslaughter is treated as a separate offense from driving while intoxicated (DWI). To secure a conviction, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the intoxication directly caused the death. Lack of intent to kill is not a defense against this charge.

Potential Defenses to an Intoxication Manslaughter Charge

Being charged with intoxication manslaughter is a serious matter, but it’s important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. To secure a conviction, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the death resulted from reckless, intoxicated driving. Here are some common defenses used to challenge these charges.

Constitutional Violations

If the police violated your rights during the traffic stop, any evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, so if the stop or search was conducted improperly, it could invalidate the evidence. Similarly, the Fifth Amendment guarantees your right to remain silent and be informed of your rights (Miranda rights). Violations here can also impact the admissibility of evidence.

Disproving Intoxication

To convict you of intoxication manslaughter, the prosecution must prove you were legally intoxicated at the time of the accident. Intoxication in Texas is defined as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more or not having the normal use of your physical or mental faculties due to alcohol or drugs.

Breath tests can be unreliable, and blood tests can be compromised by poor lab work or human error. Challenging the accuracy and administration of these tests can weaken the prosecution’s case. Field sobriety tests are also subjective and often inaccurate- sober individuals can fail them under certain conditions. 

Disproving Causation

Even if intoxication is proven, the prosecution must also show that it caused the accident. Several arguments can be raised:

  • Poor road conditions may have caused the accident.
  • Another driver’s actions could be to blame.
  • Mechanical issues with your vehicle may have contributed to the accident.

An experienced attorney can identify weaknesses in the evidence, challenge improper procedures, and present alternative explanations for the accident, all of which can affect the outcome of your case.

When Should You Call a San Antonio Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney?

Intoxication manslaughter charges can change your future. For this reason, it’s important to address them with the help of a San Antonio criminal defense lawyer. Here are key moments when you should contact a lawyer before speaking to the police.

Immediately After an Arrest

If you are arrested for intoxication manslaughter, contact an attorney right away. Early legal intervention can make a significant difference in your case. Your attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected from the start and provide guidance on how to handle initial interactions with law enforcement.

If You Suspect You Are Under Investigation

If you suspect that you are being investigated for intoxication manslaughter, do not wait for formal charges to be filed. An attorney can offer advice on how to proceed, help prevent self-incrimination, and possibly mitigate the investigation’s impact on your life.

During Police Interrogation

If law enforcement tries to question you about a fatal accident involving suspected intoxication, you should have legal counsel present. They can ensure that your statements are not used against you and that you do not inadvertently incriminate yourself.

An attorney can assist in collecting and preserving evidence that may be critical to your defense. This includes challenging the accuracy of breath and blood tests, questioning field sobriety test procedures, and examining other factors that may have contributed to the accident. If your charges come with additional legal issues, such as DWI charges, traffic violations, or civil lawsuits, an attorney can help manage these legal challenges simultaneously.

Contacting a San Antonio intoxication manslaughter attorney at the earliest opportunity can greatly impact your case. Early legal support can help protect your rights, gather important evidence, and develop a robust defense strategy tailored to your situation.

Speak to a San Antonio Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney Today 

Facing an intoxication manslaughter charge is a serious situation. At Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC, we understand the challenges you are experiencing and are ready to provide the support and defense you need. Our attorneys have a proven track record of successfully handling complex criminal cases, and we are dedicated to getting the best results for you.

Don’t face these charges alone. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can begin building a strong defense on your behalf. Contact Hunter, Lane & Jampala PLLC today at (210) 202-1076 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation. Let us help you get through this difficult time with confidence and greater peace of mind.

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