Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Texas. When it includes an unintended death it may result in a motorist facing a felony charge.
Under The Lone Star State’s transportation laws, drivers must stop and render aid when involved in a motor vehicle accident. Failing to stop may result in a second-degree felony charge if an accident victim dies.
A prosecutor could persuade a jury to convict a motorist by using evidence captured by traffic cameras placed on the streets. Penalties can include up to 20 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of $10,000. A defendant may, however, provide a court with reasons for a lesser sentence.
Texas resident receives a seven-year suspended sentence
A 31-year-old Texas resident faced a jury over his charges of driving under the influence and fatally striking a man who ran out into the street. The motorist had the green light but failed to stop to render aid.
During a four-day trial, the jury reviewed video footage of the fatal accident and listened to several witnesses describing the motorist’s character. The jury determined that the man who ran across the street died from a tragic and unforeseen accident.
As reported by The Monitor, the court sentenced the defendant to community supervision as part of a seven-year suspended sentence. Because of the DWI, the jury ordered him to pay a fine of $2,000.
A violation of supervision orders could result in jail time
Under certain circumstances, a first-time conviction may result in a judge handing down a suspended sentence of probation and community service. As noted by The Texas Tribune, a judge may also order an individual to attend a substance abuse treatment program. Violating an order, however, may result in incarceration for the remainder of the sentence.