Last week Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst issued a directive to the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice to study sentencing in intoxication manslaughter cases.
Lt. Dewhurst notes that he has a personal interest in intoxication manslaughter cases, but this is also likely in direct response to the widely publicized case of a Texas teenager who recently killed four people in an accident in which he was intoxicated who received probation.
As the law currently stands the trial court judge or jury has complete discretion (within the relevant penalty range) to determine the punishment of someone facing intoxication manslaughter charges. Probation is option available to the judge or jury under most circumstances. It should not be the legislature’s job to second guess trial court’s decisions or to establish mandatory minimums irregardless of the underlying circumstances of each case that the trial court is in the best position to know.
You can read the entire story here.
If you or someone you know has been arrested or charged with an intoxication related offense you should immediately contact Attorney Matthew Gallagher. He can be reached by phone at (713) 893-4350 or by e-mail at [email protected].