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Criminal Homicide

Corbett & Corbett LLP > Criminal Homicide

Dallas Criminal Homicide Lawyer

Texas has long maintained a tough stance on crimes against citizens of its state, particularly when those crimes seriously injure, paralyze, maim or kill an innocent human. However, like all crimes, persons accused of criminal homicide in any form are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

One’s right to a fair and zealous defense is preserved regardless what the prosecution alleges, which is where criminal homicide attorneys are at their best.

Whether the state is accusing or investigating you for causing serious injury or death during a fight, during the commission of another felony or in the heat of passion, your future freedom depends on the defense team you retain.

If you’re out on bond or your loved one is incarcerated and in need of excellent representation of their criminal homicide case, call our firm immediately at (214) 956-4418 to discuss your matter.

What is Criminal Homicide in Texas?

Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code underscores crimes against persons, and the degree of felony one may face if convicted. Chapter 19 breaks down the types of criminal homicide defined under the Code, including what level of felony each charge carries.

Any individual who knowingly, and with intent, causes the death of another person has committed the act of criminal homicide. There are four degrees of this crime, each with progressively more serious implications:

  1. Criminally negligent homicide. When an individual negligently kills another human, but the prosecution lacks intent and recklessness, they could be charged with criminally negligent homicide. As the lowest of all homicides, it’s a state jail felony.
  2. Manslaughter. An individual who recklessly kills another human, but does so without negligence and intent, can be charged with manslaughter, which is a 2nd Degree Felony.
  3. Murder. There are several ways one can commit murder, a 1st Degree Felony, under Texas law:
    • Knowingly or intentionally causing someone’s death;
    • Causing serious injury in such a dangerous or reckless manner, it terminates the individual’s life; or
    • Committing any felony (other than manslaughter), and while the defendant is attempting to flee or further the crime, he causes the death of another.
  4. Capital Murder. The most serious offense in Texas is capital murder, which is considered a Capital Felony. One commits this offense if he has committed murder, and:
    • The decedent was a fireman or police officer;
    • The person committing murder does so to receive payment;
    • The person committing murder is also committing robbery, assault, kidnapping, making terroristic threats, obstructing or retaliating, arson or aggravated sexual assault;
    • The person is escaping or attempting to escape a penal facility;
    • The person murders two or more people during one criminal act;
    • The person murders a minor age 10 or younger; or
    • The person is murdering someone out of retaliation for their position as a judge, or their role in city, state or county government.

Due to their serious nature, Dallas criminal homicide allegations must be defended by one of Texas’s most respected criminal defense law firms, Corbett & Corbett LLP, a firm of integrity who will mount a vigorous defense to protect the constitutional rights of the accused.

Penalties for Criminal Homicide

If convicted of murder, manslaughter, capital murder or criminally negligent homicide by jury or through a plea bargain, the range of penalties will be:

  1. Capital Felony: Execution, life in prison, or sentencing under 1st Degree Felony guidelines if Capital enhancement is dismissed;
  2. 1st Degree Felony: 5-99 years, or life;
  3. 2nd Degree Felony: 2-20 years, $10,000 fine; and
  4. State Jail Felony: 6 months to 2 years, $10,000 fine.

Capital felonies have automatic appeal rights to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Defenses to Criminal Homicide

Criminal charges can be approached in two ways: admit guilt and work on getting a favorable plea deal, or fight the charges in a trial. Plea deals work when enough evidence exists to convict defendants, but the case isn’t strong enough for the state to be confident of a jury trial win.

Potential defenses our attorneys may use to raise enough reasonable doubt include:

  1. Defendant, acting in self-defense, terminated the life of their assailant;
  2. Under extreme intoxication, the defendant killed another without premeditation;
  3. Defendant was not of sound mind, and because of insanity, is not guilty;
  4. Defendant lacked intent;
  5. Mistaken identity;
  6. In the heat of passion, the defendant acted in rage, terror or fear; and
  7. The defendant lacked knowledge of the underlying offense

There are other potential defenses we may use. Our attorneys plan each trial with a heightened sense of urgency for each defendant, knowing that the freedom of our clients depend on our ability to raise any and all affirmative defenses.

Hire an Intelligent Dallas Criminal Homicide Lawyer

Corbett & Corbett LLP has built its practice on the principle of superior representation in criminal law, especially when defendants have nowhere to turn and need a strong court presence to defend their constitutional rights.

Schedule your initial consultation with our firm today, and we will sit down and discuss what options you face. If your loved one is incarcerated awaiting trial for any act of criminal homicide, we can work toward scheduling a bond hearing should you wish to retain our services on their behalf.

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