If someone is responsible for the death of another individual, he or she can be charged with the crime of homicide. Homicide is understood as the killing of one individual by another. The law in Texas includes different categories of homicide; which category is used to levy charges against someone suspected of killing another individual depends on a variety of different factors.
Manslaughter is one of the categories of criminal homicide in Texas. It is defined as one individual recklessly causing the death of another individual. Individuals can be convicted of manslaughter if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s actions were reckless enough to lead to the death of another, ordinarily known to be without premeditation. It is a second degree felony.
Murder is another type of homicide outline in Texas state law. According to the law, a person can be charged and convicted of murder if he or she is responsible for the death of another and is proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have caused that death intentionally and knowingly. Another way to receive a murder conviction is to have intended to inflict serious harm to a victim and committed a clearly dangerous act leading to the death of that victim. A third way to be convicted of murder is via committing or intending to commit a felony and also committing a separate dangerous act which leads to the death of another person in the process of or while fleeing after committing that felony.
Capital murder is another homicide crime. It is charged when a murder has been committed and another felony occurs or the offense matches more specific conditions including instances when the victim who was murdered was a peace officer or firefighter, or a member of the judiciary (e.g., a prosecutor or judge) while lawfully performing the duties of his or her job. Capital murder convictions in Texas many times result from situations in which a murder was intentionally committed during another crime such as a kidnapping, robbery or burglary, aggravated sex assault, and others. Another time when this type of homicide conviction occurs is when payment by or to another individual was made in return for committing the murder. Capital murder convictions also can follow from several other circumstances; the best way to learn more about these circumstances is by speaking to a professional criminal defense attorney experienced in handling murder cases. If proven beyond a reasonable doubt in court, Capital Murder carries an automatic life sentence, without the possibility of parole.
Texas laws regarding murder are complicated and require clear description and explanation for the fullest appreciation of the specific murder charges of a case. If you or a loved one has been charged with murder in Texas, you should recognize and understand that such cases are aggressively prosecuted. Having an experienced, professional criminal defense attorney on your side is key when it comes to fighting the charges. The skilled legal counsel at Erskine Law can represent you or a loved one who has been accused of murder. With a solid defense strategy built by a competent and caring attorney like Brian Erskine, you could avoid conviction; he has years of success defending clients against a variety of charges, including murder. Contact Erskine Law at any time to discuss your options.