Murder vs. Capital Murder
When it comes to causing the death of another individual in the eyes of the law, the actual charge depends on the circumstances of the causing of death. A few of the more common charges that you may face in the state of Texas if you intentionally or unintentionally caused the death of another person include:
- Involuntary Manslaughter – This charge indicates that you behaved in a reckless manner which resulted in causing the death of another person. However, involuntary indicates that you have done this without premeditation, intention, or malice. An example would be causing the death of another person in an automobile accident where you were driving recklessly or in violation of a driving law. It typically carries the least severe penalties.
- Murder – Unlike involuntary manslaughter, murder is stipulated as the intentional act of causing another person to lose their life. Murder carries substantially heavier penalties than involuntary manslaughter upon conviction, including the death penalty.
- Capital Murder – This includes murders where the act was premeditated and carries even more severe penalties, including the death penalty in the state of Texas. You may also face capital murder charges if you cause the death of more than one individual, or if the person you killed was an officer of the law, child or elderly person.
The Penalties for Violent Crimes in Texas
The penalties for different violent crimes varies in accordance to their severity, the circumstances, whether or not a weapon was involved, and other deciding factors like previous offenses.
If your offense is a misdemeanor, you can face penalties such as fines up to $4,000 and a year in jail. The penalties for felonies, however, are far more severe. Crimes like domestic assault (first time conviction) and recklessness are typically misdemeanors, at least for a first-time conviction.
- Third-degree charges, including assault, murder, unlawful restraint, and kidnapping can result in fines over $10,000 and more than 10 years in jail.
- Second degree charges, including felonies such as assault, murder, manslaughter, and aggravated result can also result in fines over $10,000, but the jail time here can be up to 20 years.
- First-degree charges, including murder and aggravated assault can result in $10,000 in fines and up to 99 years in jail.
It’s important to note that while crimes like domestic violence typically result in a Class A misdemeanor at first offense, subsequent charges can escalate to a first-degree felony. This is true of all crimes and penalties on this list. This is why it is imperative you find qualified legal representation; your freedom is at stake.
What if You’ve Been Falsely Accused?
There are all kinds of things that can cause you to be falsely accused of a violent crime, even murder. These include cases where the facts are misinterpreted, identities are mistaken, and where human bias and the presumption of guilt interfere with your ability to receive a fair trial. In such cases, you need a strong defense from an experienced attorney who can thoroughly investigate witnesses, evidence, and investigators.
In the state of Texas, the penalties for violent crimes and murder are among the most severe. If you or a family member are accused of a crime in the Denton area, it is in your best interest to call our office as soon as you can. Your time is limited and every day you delay can have dire consequences for your case.
Earl Dobson is familiar with the tactics the prosecutors use to convict people and he has the skill to effectively use strategies to represent people facing violent crime allegations.
For a free consultation with Earl Dobson to discuss an honest, accurate evaluation of your legal options either fill out the contact form to the left, or call the phone number at the top of the page.
In the free consultation we will discuss:
- What evidence there is to support self defense or justification defenses
- Legal theories the prosecutor might use to attempt to prove your guilt
- How we evaluate cases weighing mitigating or favorable evidence versus aggravating or damaging evidence.
- Possible outcomes and whether we will pursue a plea or a trial.