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DWI Manslaughter Oddities

DWI ManslaughterDWI Manslaughter is in a strange gray area of the law. Is it a DWI? Or, is it closer to a murder or manslaughter? In many ways, DWI Manslaughter is just a DWI involving death.

DWI Manslaughter and the Statute of Limitations

However, for the statute of limitations, which is how long the State has to bring charges, DWI Manslaughter is closer to murder. For context, the statute of limitations for misdemeanors (including first- and second-time DWIs), is 2 years. Meanwhile, felonies have varying lengths depending on the type of crime, but the general statute of limitations for felonies is 3 years. Felony DWIs (including Intoxication *Assault*) fall into this 3 year limitations period. However, DWI Manslaughter does not fall into the same period, as case law considers DWI Manslaughter to be the same as murder/manslaughter. This means there is no limitations period for DWI Manslaughter, meaning the State can prosecute you no matter how long ago the arrest occurred. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01.

DWI Manslaughter and DWI Enhancement

In general, a DWI becomes a felony only when there is a child passenger or when a person has 2 or more DWI convictions on their record. But, while rare, there is a another way for a DWI to become a felony. This occurs when a person has a DWI Manslaughter conviction on their record. In this situation, the next DWI becomes a “Felony Repetition” even though it may only be a second-time DWI. In other words, a DWI Manslaughter conviction (in a way) counts as 2 prior DWI convictions.

More about Mimi Coffey & The Coffey Firm

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to get a DWI off your record or avoid probation revocation.

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as Wise County DWI Lawyers, Tarrant County DWI LawyerDallas County DWI attorney, Collin County DWI attorneys and Parker County DWI attorneys. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in Dallas – Fort Worth. She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.