According to Texas Penal Code § 19.04, manslaughter is defined as recklessly causing the death of another person. It is a felony of the second degree, punishable by imprisonment for 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. With manslaughter charges, a person could face years in prison for something that was entirely accidental, as long as the prosecution can prove that his or her conduct was reckless and resulted in another’s death.
In the face of manslaughter or any criminal charges, it is important to remember that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The District Attorney has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The odds may seem stacked against you, but you have undeniable rights clearly established in the U.S. Constitution and refined by case law through the decades. It is your attorney’s job to protect your rights and get an unfounded case dismissed or build that shadow of a doubt in the judge and jury’s minds to secure a not guilty verdict.
You deserve the best criminal defense counsel. Choose a Houston manslaughter defense lawyer at Thiessen Law Firm and put a firm with over 100 not guilty verdicts on your side. Call (713) 864-9000 today!
Taking a Closer Look at Manslaughter Charges in Houston, TX
A person is considered to have committed manslaughter if he or she “recklessly causes the death of an individual.” But what does this mean, exactly? Texas Penal Code § 6.03(c) goes into further detail on this specific mental state. A person may be considered reckless if he or she “is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur.” Further, the risk must be so significant that no ordinary person would disregard it in the circumstances.
Causing a fatal auto accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be an example of manslaughter, given the above description, because it contains these key elements:
- A conscious disregard of the risk of drunk driving
- Reckless behavior that caused the death of another person
Do not let a manslaughter charge threaten your future. No matter the situation at hand, there may be a way to effectively challenge the case against you. With our results-driven approach and our experience litigating the most complex criminal cases, our Houston criminal defense attorneys are equipped to fight for your freedom.
Your initial consultation and case review with Thiessen Law Firm is free. We are here 24/7 to answer your questions and offer our counsel. Call (713) 864-9000 or contact us online to get started.