Houston Murder Defense Attorney
Criminal homicide includes murder, manslaughter, capital murder and criminally negligent homicide. Any death that arises from the negligence or direct action of another individual with or without the presence of another crime may be tried in court as murder or homicide. The differences between each type of offense can mean the difference between life and death in Texas.
Murder and criminal homicide charges are some of the most serious offenses a person can be charged with, and even an investigation has the potential to change the course of your life forever. Securing legal representation as soon as you are aware of an investigation or charges, representatives who are prepared to fight for your rights in court and aggressively defend your case is the only course of action to take.
The Houston murder defense attorneys at the Law Office of David A. Breston spend every day working to improve our skills and help your case achieve the best possible outcome. From guiding you through the course of an investigation to taking your case through to trial, if necessary, we make every effort to build strong cases that defend your rights.
Defining Murder in Houston
There are four types of criminal homicide that can be brought against someone in Texas:
- Criminally Negligent Homicide. If a defendant puts someone in danger and that person dies, it may be considered criminally negligent homicide. To prove this in court, the prosecution must provide evidence that the defendant acted unreasonably where a reasonable person would have exercised caution or acted differently in the situation. This type of homicide is considered a state jail felony and could lead to as long as two years in jail.
- Manslaughter. When reckless behavior causes the death of another, it’s considered manslaughter. Most commonly, we hear about manslaughter cases that involve reckless driving behaviors. Prosecutors do not have to prove any intention in this type of homicide, only that unreasonable or reckless behavior caused death.
- Murder. Intentionally killing someone, intentionally injuring someone to such a degree that he or she dies, and causing a death in any form during the commission of or flight from a felony are all considered acts of murder. Depending on the circumstances of every case, the penalties for a murder conviction range from five years to life in prison or even the death penalty in Texas. Murder is considered a 1st degree felony.
- Capital Murder. The most severe form of capital homicide, capital murder in Texas includes one of these extra criteria during the commission of an act of murder:
- Being paid to murder
- Engaging in a felony such as kidnapping, robbery, sexual assault, arson, or terrorism
- Murder while escaping from prison
- Murder that occurs within the confines of a jail
- Multiple murders
- Murder of a child
- Murder of a fireman
- Murder as retaliation against someone in the judicial system
Capital murder convictions may lead to life imprisonment or the death penalty for those over the age of 17 in Texas. No one who is successfully declared mentally unstable or incapacitated can be sentenced to death for any capital homicide act.
Contact a Houston Murder Charges Lawyer
The laws surrounding capital homicide in Texas constantly change, making the services of a skilled attorney the only option in successfully evaluating and fighting against charges. Depending on the nature specific details of your case, charges may be dropped or reduced. During sentencing, a “heat of passion” argument may be successful in proving the motivation or cause for a homicide. Making this clarification can also reduce sentencing.
Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about our legal services for homicide and murder cases. Don’t let such a severe charge hang over your head alone. We can help you navigate the challenges of homicide cases today.