On February 5, 2020, 30-year-old Gregory Smith was arrested on three counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault by Harris County deputy constables. After his arrest, law enforcement announced he was out on bond for a previous DWI at the time of the crash.
The charges stem from an accident that occurred on Antione Drive near the North Beltway 8 feeder road in Harris County. All told, three people died and three were injured in the multiple-vehicle collision. The police report alleges that Smith was intoxicated when he ran a red light. In total, three vehicles were involved in the crash.
Witness reports allege Smith was traveling southbound on Antione when he ran the red light. Upon entering the intersection, his SUV struck a vehicle traveling eastbound on the feeder road. Smith's SUV careened off of that vehicle, only to strike a passenger van.
Smith was out of jail on bond for a 2019 arrest for driving while intoxicated. That charge was still pending at the time of the fatal crash.
Understanding Intoxication Manslaughter & Intoxication Assault in Texas
Intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault are serious crimes in Texas. Here's a reminder of what they are and the penalties you face if convicted.
In Texas, manslaughter involves recklessly causing the death of another person. Intoxication manslaughter occurs when an intoxicated driver kills another person in a crash. This type of manslaughter does not cover every reckless act of an intoxicated person. Instead, it is limited to causing another person's death in a vehicle collision while intoxicated.
The penalties that come with a conviction for intoxication manslaughter are steep. This charge is treated as a second-degree felony under state law. A conviction could lead to a prison sentence of at least two years and at most 20 years in state prison. It also carries a fine of up to $10,000.
Intoxication assault is charged when a person allegedly causes serious bodily injury to another person – the cause could be by mistake or accident but must be while the person was illegally intoxicated.
Intoxication manslaughter is a third-degree felony. If you are convicted, you face 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
There are also collateral consequences that come with a conviction for intoxication manslaughter. As a convicted felon, you could lose your right to vote or carry a firearm. You could also expect difficulty in obtaining employment or housing. This is in addition to the damage a conviction could bring to your reputation or personal life.
But you must remember that you have the right to fight the charges, too. Further, fighting the charges can be successful with the right defense and the right attorney.
Understanding Multiple DWI Charges
When an alleged DWI offender in Houston faces multiple charges, the risk of a conviction does not necessarily increase but the risk of a longer, more serious sentence increases upon a conviction. You could face one sentence on top of the other if the sentences are to be served consecutively and not concurrently. The rules on the same can be confusing in Texas. That's why contacting a smart, strategic Board Certified DWI defense attorney may be the best thing you can do for yourself, your freedom, and your future.