As a general rule, it is against the law for one person to assist another person in committing suicide. In fact, it is often a felony offense in Fort Worth. As with most laws, there are a series of elements that must be met before the state can convict someone of this offense. First, the person must have what is referred to in the law as “specific intent.” If the actor specifically intends to promote another’s suicide by his or her actions, word, or deed, they have committed the offense of aiding another’s suicide or attempted suicide.
Second, if a person assists in another’s commission or attempted commission of suicide, this also constitutes the offense of aiding suicide or attempting aided suicide. Examples could include providing someone a weapon to accomplish ending that person’s life or searching the internet to discover different ways to kill oneself and sharing those with someone contemplating suicide. Reference Penal Code Section 22.08 for more information.
The extent to which someone can be punished for aiding a suicide or attempted suicide depends not on the conduct of the actor, but rather on the result achieved by the person attempting to commit suicide. The conduct, standing alone, is a Class C misdemeanor. If the conduct either causes suicide or attempted suicide, and the result is serious bodily injury, the conduct is punishable as a state jail felony. State jail felonies are punishable by a minimum of 180 days in jail and a maximum of two years in custody. Class C misdemeanors, on the other hand, are punishable only by a fine of up to $500.00.
To learn more about your legal rights and options if you were charged with aiding suicide in Fort Worth, call us today.