If you are unfairly accused of a fatal DWI that killed a child’s parents, there’s now another reason to seek an experienced criminal defense lawyer. In addition to prison time and fines, those convicted of intoxication manslaughter could end up paying child support under certain circumstances.
Earlier in June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 393 into law, authorizing the courts to impose child support obligations upon those convicted of DWI when the incident caused the deaths of a child’s parents. The law takes effect on Sept. 1, 2023.
The amount of child support ordered will reflect a variety of factors, such as the child’s standard of living before the accident, education expenses, and other costs the child’s parents would have likely afforded. Those subject to these child support obligations would be required to begin making payments no more than a year after their release from prison.
In Texas, child support generally continues until the child turns 18, or 19 years of age if they are still enrolled in high school. However, even after a child has reached their majority age, courts may require parents (or those convicted of intoxication manslaughter) to provide financial support for college education or vocational training.
It’s important to emphasize that the expected penalties for intoxication manslaughter may still apply. If convicted, a judge may order a prison term of 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The convicted person’s driver’s license may also be suspended for up to two years, and they may be compelled to perform at least 240 hours of community service.
Defend Against Intoxicated Manslaughter Charges
It’s never right when you have to face unfair or unfounded criminal accusations – especially when the stakes of a conviction are so high. Texas recently raised the stakes for what it means to be convicted of a DWI under certain circumstances, which means it’s even more important to seek experienced legal counsel.
If you need help defending against DWI charges of any kind, reach out to Alband, Lane & Balderrama for legal assistance. After meeting with our attorneys during an initial consultation, we can tell you how we may be able to provide the legal support you need.
Contact us online today to get started.