Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter are some of the saddest cases someone can be involved in. Most of the time there was no malicious intent to injure or kill someone, and the victim is almost always an innocent victim. Many times the defendant is a good person who made a bad decision and feels absolutely horrible about what happened. But at the same time, there is a family on the other side who wants this person to pay for what he has done, and that is understandable.
It is tough to navigate the waters in this type of case, and you need someone who will be ready to defend you in front of prosecutors, a judge, and a jury.
What is Intoxication Assault?
A person commits Intoxicated Assault if the person by accident or mistake, while operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, causes serious bodily injury to another person. Serious bodily injury means injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes some sort of serious permanent disfigurement, or loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. Intoxicated assault is a 3rd degree felony, and has a range of punishment of 2-10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
What is Intoxication Manslaughter?
A person commits Intoxicated Manslaughter if the person operates a motor vehicle in a public place and is intoxicated, and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another person by mistake or accident. Intoxication Manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony, and has a range of punishment of 2-20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. Even if you get probation on these types of cases, you are still looking at a minimum of 120 days in jail as a condition of probation.
What type of defense can we use?
The state has to prove that it was your intoxication that caused the other individuals death. This is important, because if the accident was the deceased individuals fault, then you are not guilty of Intoxication Manslaughter. We have a number of different accident reconstruction experts we can consult with to help prepare your defense.
If you were at fault in the accident, then another defense to Intoxication Manslaughter is that you were not actually intoxicated. You may still be charged with criminally negligent homicide, but the range of punishment is much less (6 – 24 months as opposed to 2 – 20 years).
Problems with this type of case?
There are various issues that can create problems in this type of case.
- If more than one individual is killed, the sentences can potentially be stacked. For example, if you are given 10 years on both, the judge could order that you serve those one after the other for a total sentence of 20 years.
- The vehicle will be considered a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon paragraph will cause issues with parole if you are sentenced to prison. Instead of being eligible for parole after 25% of the time, you would not be eligible until you have served at least 50% of your sentence.