Homicide is considered to be the most serious criminal offense, as it ends the life of another human being. However, not every homicide leads to murder charges and the death penalty. In some situations, the lesser charge of manslaughter is a more appropriate charge.
Manslaughter is a lesser charge because it does not allege the premeditated planning of a murder. Instead, Texas law defines manslaughter as recklessly causing the death of another person. Recklessness does not require intent or knowledge that your conduct would lead to the death of another person. Instead, the prosecutor must only prove that you were reckless and that your recklessness caused the death of someone else.
All violent crimes are extremely serious matters, especially those that result in the loss of life. If you are accused of manslaughter, your very first call should be to the law office of experienced Fort Worth attorney Kyle Whitaker. We are ready to help you during this stressful time. Contact us to discuss your charges today.
Manslaughter Charges and Penalties
In many states, the law divides manslaughter into two offenses - voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. However, Texas combines these two charges into a singular manslaughter allegation, and a conviction can mean the following:
- A second-degree felony conviction on your permanent record
- A maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years
- Maximum fines up to $10,000
Even though manslaughter does not involve any premeditation or intent to kill, it is still a serious felony charge, and many people convicted of manslaughter spend years in prison if they do not have the best defense representation.
There are also separate manslaughter offenses in Texas, including:
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Intoxication manslaughter
Both of these can also be charged as second-degree felonies, which means the same possible sentence of up to 20 years in state prison.
Seek Defense Help Immediately
There are several different ways that manslaughter defense attorneys fight against these charges. While the defenses that might apply in your case will differ from other cases, the following are some common defenses:
- You acted in self-defense
- Your conduct did not rise to the level of criminal recklessness
- Mistaken identity
- You were provoked to commit the crime due to heat of passion
In some cases, an experienced attorney can get charges reduced to criminally negligent homicide, which is a state jail felony and comes with a significantly reduced sentence of imprisonment.
Seek Help from Fort Worth Attorney Kyle Whitaker Right Away
At the law office of attorney Kyle Whitaker, we know that facing manslaughter - or any homicide charges - can be a frightening experience. Even though manslaughter is a less serious charge than murder, it is still a violent felony with consequences that can impact the rest of your life. You need the right defense team as soon as possible after your arrest. Call 817-332-7703 or contact us online so the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker can assist in your case.