Anyone who unintentionally causes a motor vehicle accident that causes the fatalities of passengers or occupants in other vehicles, pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists could be charged with vehicular manslaughter in Texas. If the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or was driving recklessly when the accident occurred, they might also face these same charges.
The knowledgeable Austin criminal defense lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC are here to build a strong defense on your behalf if you are being charged with vehicular manslaughter. They understand how stressful this time can be and are here to guide you through every step of the way. Do not face your charges without them on your side.
Are Vehicular Manslaughter Charges Applicable to Your Case?
If you recklessly cause the death of another individual, you can be charged with manslaughter in Texas, according to Texas Penal Code § 19.04. If you recklessly operate a vehicle under Texas Transportation Code § 545.401 and cause the death of another person, you can be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Previously, individuals who allegedly killed someone with their negligent actions in a car accident were simply charged with manslaughter. However, manslaughter charges for a motor vehicle accident were difficult for juries to accept. Thus, a specific charge was created that carries decreased penalties compared to a manslaughter charge. Manslaughter may be an appropriate charge in your motor vehicle accident case if:
- You were driving negligently
- You exhibited reckless disregard for another individual’s safety
- You were driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- You violated safety statutes
- You were driving while fatigued
- You were racing on a highway
- You were driving without a license or on a suspended license
In any instance where you could have reasonably prevented the accident from occurring or being as severe as it was, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. No matter the circumstances surrounding your charges of vehicular homicide, you need the help of seasoned Austin criminal defense attorneys to ensure you have the best possible outcome.
Potential Vehicular Manslaughter Penalties in Texas
The penalties of a conviction for vehicular manslaughter are substantial. When you hire Texas Austin criminal defense lawyers to defend you, you could have your charges dropped or lessened, leading to a decrease in penalties. Penalties for vehicular manslaughter in Texas include the following:
- Manslaughter is generally a second-degree felony resulting in a prison sentence from two to 20 years and/or fines of up to $10,000.
- Vehicular manslaughter arising from a DWI is also a felony of the second degree with two to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000. If the individual killed was a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel, it can become a felony charge of the first degree with stiffer penalties.
- A reckless driving vehicular manslaughter conviction is a second-degree felony that comes with a prison term ranging from two to 20 years and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000.
Don’t Wait Until Tomorrow, Contact Our Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Defending your innocence cannot wait for another day. The longer you wait, the more time prosecutors have to compile evidence in their case against you. When facing manslaughter charges, you want the best defense team available in Austin. At Granger and Mueller PC, our lawyers are up to date on ever-changing criminal laws and bring their skill and integrity to each client they serve. Contact us now for a free consultation.