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Homicide charges are without question among the most serious criminal allegations that can be brought against someone. Depending on the classification of the homicide charge, an individual could face up to life in prison or even the death penalty.
If you have been arrested on murder charges, you need to contact a Grapevine homicide lawyer without delay. Our seasoned criminal defense attorneys have an extensive track record representing individuals facing every level of homicide charges. We will exhaust all available legal strategies in pursuit of the best possible outcome for your case. Our team of attorneys work together so you can rest assured that you get the dedicated defense you deserve.
According to Texas Penal Code Section 19.01, homicide charges fall into four separate categories. Each charge carries its unique definition and penalties. However, all are felony offenses, and certain aggravating factors can increase the penalties you face if convicted.
The act of murder is when someone intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another. A person can be charged with murder if they cause the death of another while intending to cause them serious bodily injury. Finally a person can be charged with murder if while carrying out or trying to carry out a felony commits an act clearly dangerous to human life and causes the death of another.
Murder is almost always a first-degree felony. However, murder is punished as a second degree felony if the affirmative defense of sudden passion applies. First-degree felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of life and up to a $10,000 fine. Second-degree felonies, on the other hand, are punishable by a maximum jail term of 20 years.
Capital murder is a capital felony offense, meaning it is punishable by death. There are a variety of felony homicide offenses that can be charged as capital murder. For example, the murder of a peace officer is a capital crime, as is murder for hire. The killing of a child who is younger than 15 is also a capital offense. Capital felonies carry the highest penalties of all, with a minimum sentence of life and a maximum sentence of the death penalty.
A conviction for any homicide offense can permanently rob them of their freedom. Accusations of killing another require an aggressive, competent defense. If you have been charged with capital murder or another homicide offense, contact our Grapevine lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your charges and potential legal arguments.
The next type of homicide charge is manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony in Texas. Manslaughter is when the person’s death was the result of the offender’s reckless actions. A manslaughter charge is prosecutable by a minimum of two years in jail, but up to 20 years. The individual may also be ordered to pay up to a $10,000 fine.
Criminally negligent homicide occurs when a person’s negligence causes the death of another individual. This type of homicide offense is a state jail felony. In the state of Texas, state jail felonies are prosecutable by a minimum incarceration period of 180 days in state jail. However, a person convicted of criminally negligent homicide can be imprisoned for up to two years and be required to pay a maximum fine of $10,000.
A criminally negligent homicide offense carries the lowest penalties of all homicide charges, but equally requires the zealous representation of a Grapevine attorney. A criminally negligent homicide charge can, in some cases, be elevated to a third-degree felony if the individual is a convicted felon or used a deadly weapon. A third-degree felony carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.
If you have been charged with a homicide offense, you should hire a qualified attorney to handle your case. A Grapevine homicide lawyer with Varghese Summersett can fight tirelessly to preserve your freedoms and make every effort to mitigate the charges against you. Contact our office today to schedule your free case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.