House Bill 393: Convicted Drunk Drivers Ordered to Pay Child Support

Understanding House Bill 393: Restitution for Children of Intoxication Manslaughter Victims in Texas

House Bill 393, recently passed by the Texas Legislature, aims to provide support for children whose parents or guardians have become victims of intoxication manslaughter. Let’s break down what this bill entails and how it impacts those involved in such tragic situations.

What is House Bill 393?

House Bill 393, also referred to as Bentley’s Law, introduces mandatory restitution for children whose parent or guardian was a victim of intoxication manslaughter. In essence, if a defendant is convicted of an offense under Section 49.08 of the Penal Code (related to intoxication manslaughter), the court is now required to order restitution for the affected child.

Key Provisions of House Bill 393:

  1. Mandatory Restitution: The court must order the defendant to pay restitution for the support of the child until they reach 18 years of age or graduate from high school, whichever is later.
  2. Determining the Amount: The court determines the monthly amount for restitution based on various factors, including the financial needs and resources of the child, surviving parent or guardian, standard of living, and educational needs of the child, among others.
  3. Payment and Enforcement: Restitution payments must be delivered as directed by the court and may be enforced by the state or by the person named in the order to receive the restitution, similar to a civil judgment.
  4. Payment Plan: If the defendant is unable to make the required payments due to confinement or imprisonment, they must begin payments upon release. A payment plan may be established to address any arrearage.
  5. Effectiveness and Application: The changes introduced by House Bill 393 apply to offenses committed on or after September 1, 2023.

What Does This Mean for DWI Cases?

For individuals facing DWI charges in Texas, especially those involving intoxication manslaughter, House Bill 393 underscores the seriousness of the offense and the potential consequences not only for the defendant but also for the affected children. It emphasizes the importance of responsible driving and the devastating impact that impaired driving can have on families and communities.

How an Attorney Can Help:

If you or someone you know is involved in a DWI case in Texas, seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney is crucial. A knowledgeable lawyer can navigate the legal complexities, advocate for your rights, and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

For legal assistance and guidance in Texas and Oklahoma DWI cases, contact Attorney John Nix today.