Murder / Manslaughter

Murder / Manslaughter Charges

The Texas Penal Code recognizes various types of murder and manslaughter. From Capital murder to first degree murder to DWI manslaughter cases, Dayna L. Jones has experience representing clients charged with murder and manslaughter. Many murder charges result in a jury trial and therefore it is necessary to have a lawyer who is experienced trying a murder case. Hiring an experienced trial lawyer who also knows how to preserve important issues for an appeal is necessary when facing serious charges like murder or manslaughter. Dayna has experience trying murder cases as well as appealing them if it does not result in an acquittal.

Types of Murder or Manslaughter:

Murder and Felony Murder

First degree murder is the intentional or knowing killing of another individual. It is also when an individual intends to cause serious bodily injury to another person but ends up killing them as a result. For example, shooting a gun at someone and just intending to injury them, but instead the person dies from the gunshot wound. Felony murder is when an individual commits or attempts to commit a felony and during the commission or immediate flight from the commission commits an act clearly dangerous to human life and it causes the death of an individual. For example, two men rob a bank. While fleeing from the bank in their vehicle, an innocent person is ran over and killed. This could be charged as felony murder. A murder conviction carries a possible range of punishment of 5 to 99 years in prison.

Manslaughter

Manslaughter is when an individual recklessly causes the death of another. Manslaughter in Texas is a second degree felony which carries a range of punishment from two to twenty years. (c) A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.

Criminally Negligent Homicide

Criminally negligent homicide is committing homicide by criminal negligence. The Penal Code defines criminal negligence as: "A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint." Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony which carries a possible range of punishment from 6 months to 2 years in the state jail facility.

Capital Murder

There are several ways that murder can be a capital offense in Texas. Intentionally or knowingly murdering a police officer or fireman; intentionally committing murder during the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat; murder for hire; intentionally murdering while escaping from a prison; murdering multiple people at once or different people in the same or similar manner, such as a serial killer; murders a child under the age of 6 years old; or murdering another on account of their status as a judge. A conviction for capital murder carries the death penalty or life without the possibility of parole.

Defenses to Murder:

Sudden Passion

Causing the death of another under the immediate influence of sudden passion reduces a first degree felony murder conviction to a second degree felony. A second degree felony carries a range of punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison.

Self-Defense

A person is justified in using force against another when the person reasonably believes force is necessary to protect himself against the other person. A person may also be justified in using force in order to protect a third party from being harmed by another individual.

If you are being investigated for murder or manslaughter or have already been arrested, contact the Law Office of Dayna L. Jones immediately. Someone is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call the office at (210) 255-8525 or fill the form on the contact page.