Collin County Homicide Lawyer | Criminal Defense

If you or a loved one has been accused of causing the death of another person in Collin County, you are probably overcome with emotions and have no idea what to do next. Fortunately, you are in the right place. The next thing you need to do is pick up the phone and call our skilled Collin County homicide lawyer who has vast experience defending death cases in North Texas. We can help.

Our team of experienced attorneys has been handling homicide cases for decades—first as prosecutors and now as highly skilled defense attorneys. We know the playbook. We will review your case from every angle, guide you through the criminal justice process, and build a solid defense strategy to produce the most favorable outcome possible.

Collin County Homicide Lawyer, Serving Allen, Plano, Frisco, Prosper, Carrollton, and Surrounding Areas

In this article, we explain the various categories of homicides in Texas, as well as punishments and possible defense strategies. But first, watch this video from Christy Jack, a nationally acclaimed trial attorney who has handled more murder cases than most North Texas lawyers.

What is criminal homicide?

Texas law defines criminal homicide as the intentional, knowing, or reckless killing of another person. Criminal homicide can be charged as capital murder, murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide.

What is capital murder in Texas?

Capital murder is the most severe type of criminal homicide in Texas. The offense of murder is elevated to capital murder if certain criteria are met. The following crimes constitute capital murder:

  •  Murder of a police officer or fireman;
  • Murder during the commission or attempted commission of kidnapping; burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat;
  • Murder for hire;
  • Murder during an escape or attempted escape from a penal institution
  • Murder of a correctional employee while incarcerated
  • Murder while already incarcerated for capital murder or murder;
  • Murder while serving a life sentence or 99-year sentence for aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault or aggravated robbery;
  • Murder of more than one person during the same criminal transaction or during different transactions but under the same common scheme;
  • Murder of a child under age 10;
  • Murder of a person between 10 and 15 years old;
  • Murder of a judge or justice or in retaliation for the services of a judge or justice.

Capital murder is punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

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What is murder in Texas?

In Texas, there are three ways in which a person may commit the offense of murder. A person commits murder if he or she:

  1. intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual. This is the most common way murder is charged. An example would be fatally shooting someone on purpose.
  2. intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual. An example of this would be intentionally striking someone in the head with a blunt object, such as a baseball bat or golf club, and causing death, even if death wasn’t intentional.
  3. commits or attempts to commit a felony and, in the process, also performs an act “clearly dangerous to human life” that causes the death of another person. This is sometimes referred to as “felony murder” in Texas. An example of this would be a twice-convicted drunk driver who gets behind the wheel intoxicated again (committing a felony) and driving the wrong way down a highway (an act clearly dangerous to human life) and causing a death.

Murder is a first-degree felony punishable by five years to life in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.

What constitutes manslaughter in Texas?

Manslaughter is defined as recklessly causing the death of another individual. This offense is a lesser charge than murder and often stems from an accident. To convict someone of manslaughter, it is only necessary to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant’s actions were reckless, and those actions led to the death of an individual.

An example of manslaughter would be participating in a street racing event and causing a wreck that kills a passenger in your vehicle car.

Manslaughter is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10000 fine.

What is criminally negligent homicide in Texas?

Criminally negligent homicide is defined as causing the death of another person by criminal negligence. This offense is usually charged when someone unintentionally causes the death of another person due to careless behavior or an accident. A person is criminally negligent if he or she should have been aware that their conduct could put another person’s life at a substantial and unjustifiable risk.

An example of criminally negligent homicide could be texting and driving and hitting a pedestrian.

Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in state jail and a maximum $10,000 fine.

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What are the defenses to homicide charges in Collin County?

There are a number of defenses that an experienced Collin County homicide lawyer could raise. Each case is unique and requires a review of the specific facts in order to determine the most appropriate defense. Some defenses could include but are not limited to:

  • Self-defense
  • Defense of others or a third party
  • Lack of intent
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Accident or mistake
  • Sudden passion
  • Insanity

Our team will begin building your defense by listening to your side of the story. We will then go about investigating every angle of the case, including challenging the investigation, questioning the credibility of the witnesses, and examining the reliability of the evidence. We don’t take the easy way out. We prepare for battle, and then we go into it with every tool in our arsenal.

We will not succumb to the narrative that the prosecution wants to tell. We have decades of experience handling homicide cases. We understand the intricacies of your case and will work on creating a defense that will put you in the best light and protect your freedom and possibly your life.

Tough cases call for the toughest lawyers.

Speak to a Collin County homicide lawyer today.

If you have been charged with homicide in Texas, your future is quite literally on the line. What you do from this point forward can drastically impact the trajectory of your case. That’s why you must start with a phone call to a seasoned, skilled, and savvy Collin County homicide lawyer. Call (214) 903-4000 today for a free consultation.

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