More than 1.35 million people die on U.S. roadways every year, many of them unavoidable accidents. Driving can be dangerous, and it's also one of the top causes of death for many age groups in the U.S., including Texas. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Texas has one of the highest rates of DWI-related fatalities, ranking in the top five in the U.S.
But these numbers aren't just statistics. If you're involved in a fatal accident, you may be feeling moral and legal guilt, worry, and depression. These feelings are normal for crash survivors, but they can also be devastating. If you're also facing charges for a DWI and intoxication manslaughter related to the accident, the trauma can be even more serious, as some Texas drivers involved in recent accidents may find. Accidents involving serious bodily injury and/or death is a giant human tragedy for all involved.
Fatal Accident Fallout
In Austin, police are still investigating a fatal accident involving a car striking a pedestrian. Police arrested the 40-year-old man on suspicion of DWI after he allegedly struck a 66-year-old pedestrian with his Chevy Impala. For a first DWI, drivers in Texas can face up to 180 days in jail, license suspension for up to two years, and hefty fines. But if a suspected DWI involves a crash, serious injury, or death, drivers can face aggravated criminal charges. The penalties for intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony, can involve two to twenty years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Even after dealing with the legal consequences of his DWI arrest, the man will undoubtedly feel the emotional fallout of his involvement in an accident that killed someone. Even drivers exonerated of a DWI charge can feel guilt and shame over the death of an innocent person.
Even if you aren't guilty of a DWI and successfully fight the charges, that doesn't mean that the emotional impact of a fatal crash will lessen. This trauma isn't something you have to deal with on your own. You should discuss how you're feeling, whether with a professional counselor, your clergy, or family and friends. For counseling resources, you can contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Greater Houston. They offer suicide and crisis resources, alcohol and drug treatment options, and local mental health resources.
Hire an Expert in DWI Defense
If you're facing DWI or DWI manslaughter charges, it's important to deal with both the emotional and legal consequences of your accident. Part of that is ensuring that you hire a lawyer who is well versed in handling complex DWI and criminal defense cases to ensure you have the best possible defense. The consequences of felony DWI manslaughter charges can be severe, including possible prison time and hefty fines.
Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in DWI defense and skilled in resolving complex DWI and criminal cases. He is one of only two Texas attorneys Board Certified in both DWI Defense and Criminal Defense Law. As a result, even his peers in the Houston legal community recognize him as an expert in his fields.
Most recently, U.S. News and World Report named Doug Murphy a Best Lawyers in America for DWI defense in Houston for 2021. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today at 713-229-8333 or contact Doug Murphy online to schedule your consultation. Don't try to go through this alone. We can help.