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Understanding manslaughter laws in Texas

On Behalf of | Sep 22, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Texas takes the most violent crimes very seriously. As such, if you’re facing manslaughter charges, you’ll want to clear your good name. These are the laws on this homicide offense in the state.

Manslaughter in Texas

Manslaughter is among the violent crimes that involve the killing of another person. However, unlike murder, there is no intent involved in the crime; a person can be charged with manslaughter if they cause another person’s death due to recklessness. There is no requirement of intent or knowledge. However, in order for a person to be charged with manslaughter, they must be aware that their reckless actions carry the risk of someone potentially being killed.

Vehicular manslaughter in Texas

Unlike other states, Texas doesn’t have separate charges of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. However, a person can be charged with vehicular manslaughter if they cause someone else’s death through reckless driving. This could be due to speeding, drag racing, road rage or general recklessness behind the wheel.

Understanding manslaughter penalties

Manslaughter is classified as a second-degree felony, which means that a person convicted of the crime can face harsh penalties. Those may include a fine of a maximum of $10,000 and a prison sentence ranging anywhere from two to 20 years.

Possible defenses to manslaughter charges

There are different potential defenses to manslaughter. However, in some cases, even when one of these is successful, the defendant might still be convicted of lesser charges. Possible defenses to manslaughter are self-defense, insanity, mistaken identity, the heat of passion or actual innocence. Every case is unique, so one of these might be stronger than the others based on your circumstances.

Manslaughter charges are life-changing. Even if you can prove your innocence, you can still face consequences in your everyday life.