Ex Parte Ervin – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Ex Parte Ervin, 991 S.W.2d 804 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999), the Court of Criminal Appeals examined the intoxication manslaughter and manslaughter statutes under a double jeopardy analysis.

Pursuant to a plea agreement, Ervin plead guilty and was convicted of intoxication manslaughter and manslaughter. Both offenses arose out of a traffic accident involving a single victim. Ervin was convicted under both the manslaughter and the intoxication manslaughter statutes and given a sentence for each conviction.

In analyzing the legislative intent of both statutes, the Court noted that as of September 1, 1994, the Texas Legislature moved the intoxication manslaughter portion of the manslaughter statute to a new section of the Penal Code for intoxication offenses.

The question before the Court of Criminal Appeals was whether this move made intoxication manslaughter an entirely different offense for double jeopardy purposes.

The court answered this question in the negative and held that "manslaughter and intoxication manslaughter are the same offense for double jeopardy purposes when they involve the same victim, and imposing convictions for both in this situation violates the Double Jeopardy Clause." Ervin, 991 S.W.2d at 817.