Under Texas law, there are five different categories of homicide charges:
- Capital murder
- Intoxication manslaughter
- Criminally negligent homicide
Each of these crimes is defined and punished in a distinct manner. The most serious of these, capital murder, is so named because it qualifies for capital punishment. Anyone facing these charges should immediately contact the experienced Houston murder attorney James Alston.
Capital Murder Charge in Houston
Capital murder charges are the most difficult to defend against because they always incorporate another heinous crime. Murder charges that are punishable by death include the murder of a (or during):
- Police officer
- Fire fighter
- Sexual assault
- Prison escape
- An attempt to commit treason.
A murder may also be a capital offense if the prosecution can prove it involved forethought before the incident.
Other Types of Houston Murder Charges
Murder charges that are not punishable by the death penalty are generally performed in the spur of the moment but still with the intent to kill. People convicted of murder face life imprisonment and massive fines. The lesser charge of manslaughter is applied in homicide cases where the person did not intentionally kill. Intoxication manslaughter is usually used when a drunk driver hit and killed another person. Both types of manslaughter can result in between 2 and 20 years in the state penitentiary.
When someone dies as a result of carelessness, the negligent party may be charged with criminally negligent homicide. For example, if a mother allowed her unlicensed, pre-teen daughter to borrow the car and the girl killed someone while driving, the mother may be charged with criminally negligent homicide. These charges are punishable with a prison sentence between 180 days and 2 years.
It Is Crucial to Contact an Experienced Murder Defense Lawyer
If you are facing murder or homicide charges, it is crucial you speak with an experienced Houston criminal attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Office of James Alston, our team will do everything possible to prove your innocence. If evidence against you was obtained illegally, we will have it suppressed from trial. If there is forensic evidence against you, we will work to show that it is inconclusive. We will investigate witnesses against you and work to discredit them. We will work to find evidence to back up everything claimed by witnesses in your favor. When it suits your case, a Houston criminal lawyer will negotiate a winning plea bargain with the prosecutors.
Get your questions answered - call me for your free telephone consultation at (713) 228-1400