Intoxication Manslaughter is one of the most difficult types of criminal charges to defend against. The consequences are severe for all those involved. Media coverage for this type of offense far exceeds any other type of criminal offense, and various groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving push hard to see individuals prosecuted for this offense to the fullest extent of the law. For these reasons, you need an experienced and knowledgeable Texas intoxication manslaughter defense attorney who understands how this offense is both investigated, prosecuted, and defended – you need Houston Board Certified Criminal Lawyer Brent Mayr.
Intoxication Manslaughter is different from regular Manslaughter or Vehicular Manslaughter which requires some proof of a reckless act or reckless driving. By operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, the law, in effect, presumes that such act is “reckless” in and of itself. Therefore, law enforcement and prosecutors do not need to show any reckless driving.
What the State of Texas must prove, however, is that the person’s intoxication was the cause of the other person’s death. This is a critical component – and valuable source of defense for these types of cases. In other words, just because you are intoxicated and are involved in an accident resulting in a death does not mean a person is automatically guilty of Intoxication Manslaughter. The law requires, and the State of Texas must prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the intoxication was the reason for the accident.
A good defense to this type of charge requires a comprehensive investigation not just into whether the person is intoxicated, but how the accident occurred. Brent Mayr, with his experience and knowledge, knows what to look for in terms of a proper and thorough investigation and knows how to prepare an effective defense.
Intoxication Manslaughter is a second degree felony in Texas which carries a possible punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Where Intoxication Manslaughter varies in terms of punishment from other types of homicide is that the punishment can go beyond that if there are multiple victims. For instance, if two people are killed in one accident, a person can be charged with two counts or charges of Intoxication Manslaughter. If, for instance, that person is convicted and sentenced to 15 years on each case, the law permits a judge to cumulate or “stack” the punishments so that the person can end up with a 30 year prison sentence (15 + 15 = 30). Likewise, if one person is killed and another is serious injured – resulted in a charge of Intoxication Assault – the punishments for both of those charges can also be added together to exceed the typical 20 year maximum on a second degree felony.
As with other vehicular homicide offenses, Intoxication Manslaughter prosecutors will often allege that the car or truck the person was driving was a “deadly weapon” making it where, if convicted and sentenced to prison, the person will spend more time in prison before becoming eligible for parole. Likewise, it prohibits a judge from giving the person probation.
The best criminal defense attorney has to not just know the law, but understand the factual and legal complexities that arise with certain types of criminal cases. Brent Mayr not only has that understanding, he has the unique experience of dealing with and leading in these cases from the other side.
As a former prosecutor, Brent Mayr was the head of the Harris County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Section and Fatality Accident Review Team, the section responsible for overseeing investigations and handling the prosecution of all Intoxication Manslaughters occurring in Harris County. In this position, Brent Mayr was involved from the beginning – going out to the scenes of these accidents to assist law enforcement in their investigation efforts – to the end – trying these types of cases to juries and dealing with various defenses and punishment options.
Upon retiring from this position, Brent Mayr was immediately able to take this experience and knowledge and put it to use defending a number of individuals, not just in Harris County, but all over the State of Texas accused of this crime. Over the course of his career as a Texas criminal defense attorney, Brent Mayr has been able to identify factual and legal issues and present vigorous, effective defenses in these cases resulting in acquittals, cases being thrown out , and punishment options much less severe than what the State has tried to secure.
If you are suspected of and arrested for driving while intoxicated, you can hire a number of qualified DWI attorneys. But if you are in an accident suspected of and arrested for Intoxication Manslaughter, you need Board Certified Criminal Attorney Brent Mayr representing you as soon as possible.
We interviewed 12 attorneys. Brent Mayr stood head and shoulders above the other Intoxication Manslaughter specialists in the Houston area. Mr. Mayr helped us through the entire, difficult process. In fact, he is still helping us recover from the immense challenges one faces in an intoxication manslaughter case.
We were very impressed with the overall management of the case to include pretrial negotiation with the prosecution. It was decided to go to trial. Mr. Mayr was very effective in every phase, especially impressive in jury selection, expert witness selection and preparation, presenting the case and preparing the jury for sentencing. We were thrilled with the outcome. Our family’s experience with Brent was much more than legal defense. He truly has been a counselor to us throughout the entire process and remains a source of support to this very day.