When your college-age son gets charged with intoxication manslaughter, how do you get probation?

One secret to winning an intoxication manslaughter, to over-simplify it, is that the intoxication must not be a cause; it must be the cause of the death.

If you can get a top-flight accident reconstruction expert to find another likely cause of the accident, you can argue that, even sober, the accident would have probably occurred.

That, coupled with innovative pretrial motions, 50 letters of good character references, no prior criminal record, immediate enrollment into an alcohol rehabilitation treatment center, etc., can result in your client going home rather than to the penitentiary.

For example, a college age first time offender who admitted to the arresting officer, "I just drank a case of beer," was given probation because of the intelligent use of an accident reconstruction expert who showed that the intoxication, while a cause of the accident, was not the primary cause of the accident.

Another example would be a client who had an undriven car upon blocks for a year, who lost control and killed his passenger and was intoxicated. My expert, a master mechanic and metallurgist testified that mechanical defects of the breaks, together with the fact that the corner in question had the second highest accidents in rates in Dallas County, established reasonble doubt because the accident probably would have occured without intoxication.

I am available for consultation in criminal cases.

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