Dallas Cowboy Charged with Homicide by Vehicle

Filed under: DUI by Contributor @ December 11, 2012

Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent has been charged with Intoxication Manslaughter after his teammate, Jerry Brown, was killed in a car accident last Saturday. Brent was intoxicated and speeding with Brown as a passenger when his car flipped over after hitting a curb. Brent was initially charged with Driving Under the Influence, but the charge was upgraded to Intoxication Manslaughter when his teammate was pronounced dead.

Intoxication Manslaughter is Texas’ equivalent of Pennsylvania’s Homicide By Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3735.  In Pennsylvania, this crime is a Second Degree Felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and carrying a three year mandatory minimum state prison sentence. The Pennsylvania statute reads:

§ 3735. Homicide by vehicle while driving under influence.
        (a) Offense defined.--Any person who unintentionally causes
     the death of another person as the result of a violation of
     section 3802 (relating to driving under influence of alcohol or
     controlled substance) and who is convicted of violating section
     3802 is guilty of a felony of the second degree when the
     violation is the cause of death and the sentencing court shall
     order the person to serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not
     less than three years. A consecutive three-year term of
     imprisonment shall be imposed for each victim whose death is the
     result of the violation of section 3802.

Under the Texas law, Brent will serve between two and twenty years in prison if he is convicted.  You can be certain that, as with any NFL player, Brent will have a top-notch criminal defense attorney who will make certain that he avails himself of a solid defense strategy.   You can read more about Pennsylvania DUI law here.


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