In Texas, there is nothing more serious than being accused of causing the death of another person. Not only do homicide cases carry massive penalties, but they are also often high-profile and very complex. When a case receives media attention, prosecutors tend to be harsher with their offers. That’s why it is imperative to have an experienced, aggressive Fort Worth homicide lawyer by your side every step of the way if you are accused of capital murder, murder, manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.
Our attorneys have handled dozens of homicide cases, first as prosecutors and now as highly-coveted criminal defense attorneys. We will closely examine all of the evidence, enlist experts, and identify flaws in the prosecution’s case in an effort to build a solid strategy for your defense.
Texas law divides homicide charges into four primary categories under Texas Penal Code Section 19.01. These are capital murder, murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. Our Fort Worth homicide lawyers will thoroughly explain the charge, potential consequences, and how your case will proceed through the criminal justice system
Anyone facing a capital murder charge should immediately seek guidance from a Fort Worth homicide attorney. What happens during the early stages of a homicide investigation can drastically impact or influence the case. A proactive defense is your best defense.
Under Texas law, both murder and capital murder are classified as criminal homicide. The biggest differences between the two charges are the way in which the offense is alleged and how it is punished. A person commits murder when he or she:
A person can be sentenced to the death penalty for capital murder, but not for murder.
When someone recklessly causes the death of another person, they can be charged with manslaughter. In order to be considered reckless, an individual must be aware of the risk of their conduct, but consciously disregard that risk. Prosecutors must show that the accused departed from the standard of care a reasonably prudent person would have followed in the same scenario. For instance, a driver who is racing another vehicle and loses control and slams into car that kills a person could be charged with manslaughter.
Criminally negligent homicide occurs when a person negligently causes the death of another. The actions of the accused will be measured against the standard of care that an ordinary person would have exercised in the same situation. We often see the charge of criminally negligent homicide with accidental deaths.
→ Capital murder is punishable by the death penalty or life in prison with no possibility for parole.
→ Murder is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
→ Manslaughter is a second-degree felony punishable to two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
→ Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony category punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility and up to a $10,000 fine.
As you can see, there is a broad spectrum of cases that are considered homicides in Texas. The offenses and their punishment ranges vary drastically. If you or a loved one is facing a homicide charge, the first order of business should be to stop talking and to contact an experienced Fort Worth homicide lawyer. We can help. We have decades of experience handling all types of homicide cases, including death penalty cases. Call our office today for a free consultation.
By: Julie C.
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