Being arrested on a homicide charge is a traumatizing experience with life-altering consequences. If you have been arrested on a charge of capital murder or murder, take a moment to consider the importance of your next move. Your choice of lawyer is a critically important decision that must be made quickly. It is in your best interests to team up with an experienced criminal attorney who understands your rights and who will zealously advocate on your behalf.
HOMICIDE LAWS IN THE STATE OF TEXAS
HOMICIDE LAWS IN THE STATE OF TEXAS
Murder and Capital Murder
Murder and capital murder are the two forms of homicide under Texas state law. In the state of Texas, a charge of murder is brought (1) when a person intended to cause the death of another human being, (2) when a person committed an act intended to cause serious bodily injury to another person but which resulted in their death, or (3) when a person caused the death of another during the course of committing a felony. The charge of murder can be escalated to the more serious charge of capital murder under specific circumstances, including the following:
- The murder occurs during a robbery, sexual assault, or kidnapping.
- The murder occurs while the defendant is escaping from jail or prison.
- The victim is under the age of 10.
- The victim is a fireman, police officer, or judge.
- More than one murder occurs during a criminal act.
The state of Texas defines manslaughter as an act that recklessly results in the death of another human being. This act is distinct from criminally negligent homicide. In order for one to be found guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the state of Texas, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant acted in a negligent manner. Negligence is a commonly used legal term that refers to one’s failure to take “due care” to prevent his action or inaction from harming another person.
Penalties for Murder and Manslaughter in Texas
The state of Texas comes down particularly hard on convicted murderers. Defendants who are found guilty of murder or capital murder will face severe penalties.
- Murder is a 1st degree felony in the state of Texas. This may be decreased to a 2nd degree felony if the murder was influenced by “sudden passion.” The sentence for murder ranges from 5-99 years to life in prison, with a $10,000 fine.
- Capital murder is a capital felony, and carries a penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or death.
- Manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony. The sentence is 2-20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- An individual found guilty of criminally negligent homicide faces 180 days to 2 full years in state jail plus a $10,000 fine.
- A charge of intoxication manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony. The sentence ranges from 2 to 20 years in prison. An individual found guilty of intoxication manslaughter can also be fined a maximum of $10,000.
JOSHUA HILL | FORMIDABLE HOMICIDE ATTORNEY
If you are charged with a crime, it is very important to partner with a knowledgeable and hardworking defense attorney who understands your rights and will fight for them. Joshua Hill is a seasoned criminal defense attorney with experience and credentials that set him apart from other Houston area attorneys.
Joshua spent 8 years in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, first as an intern and then as a prosecutor. This experience gave him unique insight into how a prosecutor investigates, builds, and tries a case. He can now use this insider knowledge to his client’s advantage, in order to build the strongest defense possible. He is also one of only a handful of Houston area lawyers to be Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Joshua prides himself on building strong relationships with clients, taking the time to get to know them and personalizing his approach based on their concerns and goals. Joshua understands that each case is unique, and he will devote the time to address your individual, specific circumstances. You will never receive a one-size-fits-all defense. Although there are many qualified criminal defense attorneys in the Houston area, what sets Joshua apart is his willingness to go to great lengths to be there for his clients, both inside and outside the courtroom. He is also bilingual, which allows him to connect with Spanish-speaking clients who do not feel comfortable communicating in English.
Reach out to our law office as soon as possible to schedule a no-cost consultation. Let’s get the ball rolling on your defense strategy before it is too late. Meet with our staff and you will quickly understand that our sole aim is to protect your rights and to help you understand your options. Our legal team goes to great lengths to understand the intricacies of your specific case and circumstances. This is the type of individualized attention you won’t receive from most other Houston-area homicide attorneys. Joshua Hill has the qualifications and experience necessary to protect you and your family at this frightening time.