Unintentionally causing someone else’s death is a traumatizing experience that no one wants to endure. For many people accused of manslaughter, the pursuant criminal trial is often equally a battle with their conscience as it is with the actual trial process.
They may be wracked with their own personal remorse and still facing the judgment of everyone around them. Compassionate and skilled guidance of an attorney can help ease the pressure of such a stressful situation.
Houston Manslaughter Attorney
If you’re facing the serious penalties that come along with a manslaughter case in Texas, it is imperative that you secure competent and compassionate legal representation to guide you throughout your criminal trial. The prosecution won’t rest until they see you convicted, so you need someone who can be your committed advocate for the duration of the case.
Matt Horak is a criminal defense attorney in Houston with years of experience on both sides of a criminal case. Contact Horak Law today at (713) 225-8000 or using the online case evaluation form to consult with him about the details of your case for an evaluation.
Manslaughter in Texas
While manslaughter has a number of varieties and conditional factors in some other states, the Texas Penal Code (§19.04) provides for a very simple delineation of the charge. In Texas, manslaughter consists of causing the death of another person due to recklessness on your part. The charge of manslaughter is a form of homicide, but unlike murder, doesn’t require that the defendant had the intent to kill a person.
In order to convict a defendant of manslaughter, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused, by recklessness or omission on their part, the death of another person. A conviction for manslaughter is a second-degree felony, which carries severe penalties with it.
If you’re facing manslaughter charges in the greater Houston area, it is important to secure legal representation to ensure that you don’t end up facing a severe sentencing following your criminal trial.
Texas is one of the few states that recognizes intoxication manslaughter as a unique and distinct offense. When an instance of a DWI results in the death of another person, it is known as intoxication manslaughter. Like standard manslaughter, intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony that can result in up to a $10,000 fine, between 2 and 20 years in prison, at least 240 hours of community service, and/or a probationary community supervision sentence.
Criminally Negligent Homicide
When an individual has a duty to perform a service or provide protection to someone else, and negligent acts on their part results in the death of their charge, that individual is charged with criminally negligent homicide. This state jail felony offense must involve an explicit duty of the individual toward the alleged victim.
An example of criminal negligent homicide would be if a doctor fails to notice that a patient’s oxygen supply has become disconnected, and, as a result, the patient dies. Because the physician held a legal obligation to perform this duty and failed to do so, the doctor would be charged with criminally negligent homicide. In this case, the victim’s family could also potentially file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
To convict a defendant of criminally negligent homicide, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was a duty owed by the defendant to the victim and that it was primarily a result of negligent acts that the victim died.
Though helping someone commit suicide is viewed as second-degree manslaughter in many states, the Texas Penal Code (§22.08) views it as an assaultive offense. This means that its penalties roughly correspond to those of assault charges in Texas.
Aiding suicide is a Class C misdemeanor if the suicide attempt fails and no one is seriously hurt. If the suicide attempt is successful or results in serious bodily harm, the defendant being charged with aiding the suicide attempt is charged with a state jail felony.
Horak Law | Houston Involuntary Manslaughter Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with unintentionally taking the life of another person, you don’t have to face the judgment alone. Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney who knows both sides of a criminal trial can make the process significantly less stressful for you and your family.