When a person dies at the hands of another, it is considered a homicide.
Criminal homicide charges in Texas are divided into two different categories:
murder and manslaughter. While both of these crimes involve the unlawful killing of another, these
offenses have many differences and can carry vastly different penalties.
What Is Manslaughter?
Manslaughter is the act of recklessly causing the death of another individual.
While many other states divide manslaughter into further subcategories
of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, Texas treats manslaughter as
one single charge with enhanced penalties for certain circumstances.
A conviction of manslaughter in Texas can carry:
- Anywhere from 2 to 20 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Manslaughter does not involve any premeditation and is often considered
a “crime of passion,” or a killing that occurs when a person
is in a fragile emotional state and is unable to control their actions.
Similarly, a person can be charged with intoxication manslaughter if they
recklessly cause the death of another person while intoxicated, usually
as the result of a drunk driving car accident.
What Is Murder?
Murder, on the other hand, is a much more serious charge. Unlike manslaughter
in which a person recklessly or impulsively causes a death, murder involves
the intent to kill and is often premeditated.
A person commits murder when they:
- Intentionally and knowingly cause the death of another person;
- Intend to cause serious bodily injury and commit an act clearly dangerous
to human life; or
- Cause the death of another while committing or attempting to commit a felony.
A murder conviction can carry up to 99 years in prison and $10,000 in fines
upon conviction. In particularly egregious circumstances in which a murder
involves the killing of a police officer, firefighter, child under the
age of 6, or multiple people, a person can be charged with capital murder,
an offense potentially punishable by death.
Facing Charges? Call (830) 476-7780
If you have been charged with murder or manslaughter, it is imperative
you retain the services of a hard-hitting legal team to protect yourself
against life-altering consequences upon conviction. With more than 60
years of experience, our trial-tested
New Braunfels criminal defense lawyers at Kyle Law Firm can fight to defend you against the prosecution’s
claims and advocate for a reduction or dismissal of your charges on your behalf.
Contact our firm online or
set up a confidential case review today to get started towards building your defense.