Criminal Law

Murder and Homicide in Texas

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Criminal Law | 0 comments

There is perhaps no other criminal charge as serious as murder or homicide. Anyone convicted of such crimes can only expect to face steep punishment. The court can impose a significant number of years of imprisonment for criminals convicted of murder or homicide. Certain scenarios can also lead convicted criminals to be sentenced to a lifetime in prison or even death.

Texas is among the 32 states in America where death penalty is legal and its penal code classifies these crimes under the broad umbrella of criminal homicide. The law defines criminal homicide as situations when an individual causes the death of another intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence. These crimes are classified into four different types, depending on the circumstances of the given situation.

A criminal homicide case is considered a murder when a person’s death results from any harm that was knowingly and intentionally caused by the perpetrator. A murder is considered a first degree felony and could lead to lifetime imprisonment. Similar crimes that are aggravated by additional circumstances are known as capital murders. Some of these circumstances include causing the death of a law enforcement officer and murder committed during kidnapping or sexual assault. These crimes are punishable by death penalty.

Death caused by reckless behavior is called manslaughter. These cases typically involve other violations such as driving while intoxicated (DWI) and are considered second degree felonies. Finally, homicide cases involving negligence or inattentive creation of risk are referred to as criminally negligent homicide. A state jail felony, it requires a perpetrator to serve up to 20 years in prison.

Depending on the decision of the court, perpetrators convicted of criminal homicide will also need to pay significant fines on top of the prison sentences they are expected to serve. As one can see, the punishment for crimes involving homicide and murder are unsurprisingly steep and hard to bounce back from. If this occurs consult a criminal defense attorney immediately.

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