A driver in Houston is being charged with a felony-level offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) after she allegedly caused an accident that ended in a fatality. The charges are for intoxication manslaughter, an allegation that can lead to a steep jail sentence in Harris County, Texas, if it ends with a conviction.
Multi-Car Pileup Leads to DWI Arrest in Houston
The incident happened during the late night hours of Friday, April 5, 2019.
According to the initial reports, there was a car accident on the Katy Freeway near exit 766 that stopped traffic on the highway just after three in the morning. Another vehicle traveling on the Katy Freeway, however, did not stop in time upon nearing the congested traffic. The driver slammed into another car, which created a chain reaction that ended up involving four vehicles.
The driver apparently tried fleeing the scene of the crash, but was quickly apprehended by police. She was brought to the hospital for leg injuries sustained in the crash, where she was determined to be under the influence.
The driver of the car that was hit first in the four-vehicle collision was pronounced dead at the scene.
Texas Intoxication Manslaughter Charges to Follow
Police are charging the driver with intoxication manslaughter – a felony DWI charge that carries steep penalties for a conviction, including:
- Between two and 20 years in jail; and
- A fine of up to $10,000.
Additionally, because intoxication manslaughter is a felony offense, the blemish on your criminal background will be far more severe than if it had been a lesser misdemeanor. A conviction for a felony can disenfranchise people in serious ways. They can lose their right to own a firearm and even lose their right to vote.
No Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter in Houston
Unfortunately, in Houston and the rest of Texas, all charges of manslaughter are the same – there is no difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, like there are in most other states.
This is especially problematic for people who have been accused of intoxication manslaughter, as criminal DWI charges following a fatal car accident are often of the involuntary manslaughter variety – drunk drivers hardly ever want to cause a crash that kills someone else. Without the distinction in Texas, though, people facing intoxication manslaughter charges face penalties that are likely to be higher than if they had gotten arrested in another state.
Felony DWI Defense Lawyer Doug Murphy
Doug Murphy is a DWI defense lawyer who represents clients throughout the Houston area who have been accused of drunk driving or drugged driving. All allegations of DWI are serious – they can lead to long license suspensions, steep fines, and jail time, even for first-time offenders in Texas. When those criminal charges are felony-level offenses and involve a fatal accident, though, hiring a DWI defense lawyer becomes even more important.
Defending against a DWI is not impossible. Even in the most difficult cases, the advocacy of a DWI defense attorney like Doug Murphy can prove invaluable. Contact him online or call his Houston law office at (713) 229-8333.