TITLE 5. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON
Sec. 19.01. TYPES OF CRIMINAL HOMICIDE. (a) A person commits criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causes the death of an individual.
Sec. 19.02. MURDER. (a) In this section:
(1) “Adequate cause” means cause that would commonly produce a degree of anger, rage, resentment, or terror in a person of ordinary temper, sufficient to render the mind incapable of cool reflection.
(2) “Sudden passion” means passion directly caused by and arising out of provocation by the individual killed or another acting with the person killed which passion arises at the time of the offense and is not solely the result of former provocation.
(b) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual;
(2) intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual; or
(3) commits or attempts to commit a felony, other than manslaughter, and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission or attempt, or in immediate flight from the commission or attempt, he commits or attempts to commit an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.
(c) Except as provided by Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.
(d) At the punishment stage of a trial, the defendant may raise the issue as to whether he caused the death under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause. If the defendant proves the issue in the affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence, the offense is a felony of the second degree.
Sec. 19.03. CAPITAL MURDER. (a) A person commits an offense if the person commits murder as defined under Section 19.02(b)(1) and:
(1) the person murders a peace officer or fireman who is acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty and who the person knows is a peace officer or fireman;
(2) the person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat under Section 22.07(a)(1), (3), (4), (5), or (6);
(3) the person commits the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration or employs another to commit the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration;
(4) the person commits the murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution;
(5) the person, while incarcerated in a penal institution, murders another:
(A) who is employed in the operation of the penal institution; or
(B) with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination;
(6) the person:
(A) while incarcerated for an offense under this section or Section 19.02, murders another; or
(7) the person murders more than one person:
(A) during the same criminal transaction; or
(B) during different criminal transactions but the murders are committed pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct;
(8) the person murders an individual under 10 years of age; or
(9) the person murders another person in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of the other person as a judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of appeals, a district court, a criminal district court, a constitutional county court, a statutory county court, a justice court, or a municipal court.
(b) An offense under this section is a capital felony.
(c) If the jury or, when authorized by law, the judge does not find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of an offense under this section, he may be convicted of murder or of any other lesser included offense.
Sec. 19.04. MANSLAUGHTER. (a) A person commits an offense if he recklessly causes the death of an individual.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.
Sec. 19.05. CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE. (a) A person commits an offense if he causes the death of an individual by criminal negligence.
(b) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.
Sec. 19.06. APPLICABILITY TO CERTAIN CONDUCT. This chapter does not apply to the death of an unborn child if the conduct charged is:
(1) conduct committed by the mother of the unborn child;
(2) a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent, if the death of the unborn child was the intended result of the procedure;
(3) a lawful medical procedure performed by a physician or other licensed health care provider with the requisite consent as part of an assisted reproduction as defined by Section 160.102, Family Code; or
(4) the dispensation of a drug in accordance with law or administration of a drug prescribed in accordance with law.
NOTE: This information is not legal advice. It is provided for educational use only. If you need legal advice regarding a BWI offense in the State of Texas, please contact Mark Thiessen at 713-864-9000, or request a free case evaluation.