The thought of facing charges for felony homicide is a gut-wrenching and unsettling experience. The penalties for conviction, including murder and capital murder, can be dire, ranging from life imprisonment to the death penalty. Texas is considered one of the harshest states in the US for those facing homicide charges, with a reputation for imposing severe sentences.
If you are charged with homicide in Texas, you must contact an attorney. At Nava Law Texas, our homicide defense attorney can guide you with the experience and proficiency necessary to establish a strong defense for your case. Call and schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal representation needs.
Like many other states, Texas separates its homicide charges into specific categories. The loss of life is a saddening event, but per Texas law, particular circumstances must be present for a homicide to be classified as murder or deemed a criminal act.
Legal proceedings, including determining guilt and imposing penalties, differ greatly based on the type of charges involved. The law addresses these varying circumstances in unique ways.
Criminal homicide is classified into four categories in Texas:
Murder: Intentionally and knowingly causing the death of another person is generally defined as murder. In Texas, it is considered among the most serious crimes, and in severe cases, the accused may face life imprisonment. Murder charges often involve claims of prior planning, evil intent, and premeditation.
Capital Murder: In Texas, "first-degree murder" is called "Capital Murder." Capital murder constitutes crimes such as killing a victim under ten years old or committing another serious crime during the murder. A conviction for capital murder may result in life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty.
Manslaughter: In Texas, manslaughter is deemed a second-degree felony, contrasting to capital murder and murder, which are first-degree felonies. Manslaughter signifies a reduced degree of fault or accountability. Accusations of premeditation or planning are generally absent in manslaughter cases. Instead, the individual may be charged with acting recklessly or consciously disregards potential dangers.
Texas does not distinguish between "voluntary manslaughter" and "involuntary manslaughter" as other states do. Instead, they are combined with varying consequences based on the specifics of each case. Manslaughter charges typically have milder penalties than murder, including possible jail time ranging from 2 to 20 years.
Criminally Negligent Homicide: Criminally negligent homicide involves being accused of causing another person's death through negligence or failure to take proper precautions. It is a felony in Texas, resulting in a sentence of 180 days to 2 years in state prison upon conviction.
Regardless of the type of homicide charge, all carry potential risks and should be taken with urgency. Prosecutors in Texas prioritize the prosecution of these type of charges, so it is crucial to have a skilled criminal attorney to defend yourself if facing homicide charges. The legal team at Nava Law Texas boasts extensive experience and success in fighting homicide charges.
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An experienced criminal defense attorney must know that even in severe cases like homicide, there may be underlying reasons and conditions to examine.
Common defenses for murder or manslaughter crimes include the following:
Self-Defense: In Texas, with its robust self-defense laws, judges and juries acknowledge the right of individuals to protect themselves in life-threatening situations. If a person committed a deadly act in self-defense, the accused might escape a guilty verdict.
Insanity: When it comes to murder or manslaughter charges, the defendant's mental capacity can be crucial in determining guilt. If a person cannot understand the situation and make a rational decision, they may not be held accountable for a homicide. Cognitive impairment at the time of the crime can result in reduced charges or even dismissal.
Crime of Passion: Also known as a "heat of passion" or "Sudden Passion," this argument in court asserts that the defendant acted impulsively due to intense emotions such as anger or fear. If these emotions consume a person, it may make it difficult for them to make rational decisions, leading to a lesser punishment. In Texas, if a defendant can show evidence of being in a state of sudden passion from a legitimate trigger, they may face a reduced sentence from a lifetime in prison to a second-degree felony with a sentence ranging from 2 to 20 years.
If you are charged with a homicide crime in Texas, reach out to Nava Law Texas to seek advice from our legal experts now! We aim to instill trust in our clients by developing a solid defense for your case. The quicker we start working on your case, the higher the chances of success.
Reach out to our legal team to arrange a free case assessment with a seasoned El Paso homicide defense lawyer for your criminal defense matter. Alyssa Nava is a former prosecuting attorney that helps the people of El Paso against criminal charges. With a wide range of experience in criminal defense cases, Alyssa Nava can properly defend her clients and get the best results based on the charges.