Manslaughter is a lesser criminal action found within the criminal homicide section of the penal code. In order to determine the culpability of an individual to match the definition of manslaughter, a Houston jury must find that their behavior was reckless (as opposed to intentional for murder charges). Manslaughter often appears to some people to be a much lesser crime that does not necessitate full legal counsel. However, manslaughter is a felony offense that can have dire repercussions on an individual’s ability to sustain a job, retain custody of any children, and even vote in a general election. If you have been charged with manslaughter, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Houston manslaughter defense attorneys at Mary E. Conn & Associates as soon as possible after your arrest.
The Texas Penal Code defines manslaughter as recklessly causing a person’s death. Criminal manslaughter charges are often brought after car accidents caused by one person’s intoxication, which led to a fatality. Manslaughter is a second degree felony, which is punishable by up to twenty years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Manslaughter is different than the crime of criminally negligent homicide, which is a state jail felony. In determining the charges, the grand jury or court during pretrial conferences must determine whether the defendant’s behavior rose from criminal negligence to recklessness.
Manslaughter is differentiated from murder in the culpability of the defendant. Specifically, murder involves the intentional or knowing death of another person. Capital murder is a more serious crime and is often the charge when one person commits murder for financial gain. While manslaughter is a lesser charge of criminal homicide in the Texas Penal Code, it can still lead to a felony conviction and therefore should be handled appropriately with the advice of experienced Houston manslaughter defense attorneys.
It is important to remember that an arrest is not yet a conviction, and a jury must find an individual guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, before a conviction occurs. The crime of manslaughter is much different than the levels of murder, since the crime does not require an intentional action. Manslaughter thereby requires the jury to find that the defendant acted recklessly in his or her behavior. The word “reckless” is a legal term of art, and it is up to the defendant to prove that his or her behavior did not meet this strict standard. An experienced Houston manslaughter defense attorney will work with you to build your defense in the pretrial stage as well as the trial stage.
If you have been arrested on manslaughter charges, do not hesitate to contact Mary E. Conn & Associates. Criminal defense attorney Mary E. Conn and her team are skilled manslaughter defense attorneys in Houston have handled dozens of manslaughter cases, stemming from different facts and circumstances. The facts of your individual case will prove important throughout the trial and will determine what type of defense argument will be presented. Mary E. Conn will work closely with you to keep you informed each step of the way, including any potential plea deals offered by the state. Contact our Houston office on (713) 357-4190 as soon as possible for your initial free consultation and we will begin to work on establishing your defense.