Murder Defense Lawyer In Dallas
Murder Defense Lawyer In Dallas – Represents Clients Facing Murder Charges
Violent crimes committed in Dallas encompass a number of serious charges. When you are facing such charges against you, it is important to have a murder defense lawyer on your side. Texas maintains its image being tough in crime by means of aggressive prosecution of people accused of especially violent crimes like assault, manslaughter, and capital murder. If you find yourself faced with murder charges in Dallas, you are in a dire situation. This article will provide you with some basic information on the murder statute in Texas, the possible defenses available to you, and why you need an experienced murder defense lawyer in Dallas.
Definition Of Murder In Texas
The murder statute in Texas is found in Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code. Murder is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another person. There are two types of murder in Texas: first-degree murder and second-degree murder.
First-degree murder is the most severe type of murder. It is committed when someone intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person under certain circumstances, such as when the victim is a law enforcement officer or a public servant. Another example of first-degree murder is when the murder is committed during another felony, such as robbery or kidnapping. First-degree murder is punishable by life in prison or by death.
Second-degree murder is less severe than first-degree murder but still carries a hefty penalty. Second-degree murder is committed when someone intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person but without the exceptional circumstances required for first-degree murder. Second-degree murder is punishable by either life in prison or 5 to 99 years in prison sentences.
Other Homicide Laws In Texas
Murder is only one of the different types of homicide laws in Texas. In addition to murder, Texas also has statutes for manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, capital murder, and vehicular homicide. The following are the definitions of the offenses mentioned and their subsequent penalties:
Manslaughter – The Texas Penal Code defines manslaughter as recklessly causing the death of another person. For example, if you accidentally run someone over with your car, you may be charged with manslaughter. Another example of manslaughter is when you get into a fight with someone, and your reckless actions cause that person to die. Manslaughter is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.
Criminally negligent homicide – Criminally negligent homicide is defined as causing the death of another person by criminal negligence. In other words, it means that you were grossly negligent and caused someone’s death as a result. For example, if you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and cause an accident in which someone dies, you may be charged with criminally negligent homicide. Criminally negligent homicide is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.
Vehicular homicide – Vehicular homicide is committed when someone recklessly causes the death of another person while operating a vehicle. For example, if you are driving drunk and cause an accident in which someone dies, you may be charged with vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.
Capital murder – Capital murder is the most severe type of murder in Texas. It is committed when someone intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person under certain circumstances, such as when the victim is a law enforcement officer or a public servant. Capital murder is also defined as murdering while committing another felony, such as robbery or kidnapping. Other circumstances of capital murder are murder for hire, murder during family violence, murder of a child under ten years old, or murder committed by a prisoner in a correctional facility. Capital murder is punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole.
Voluntary manslaughter – In some cases, murder charges can be reduced to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter if the murder was committed in “sudden passion” under Texas Penal Code Section 22.01(b)(2). This means the murder was committed during an intense rage caused by great provocation, such as catching your partner cheating on you or discovering that your child has a terminal illness. Voluntary manslaughter carries more lenient penalties than murder and is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison.
Possible Defenses Against A Murder Charge
The following are some of the defenses that your attorney may raise if you have been charged with murder:
Lack of intent – To be convicted of murder, the prosecution must prove that you intended to kill the victim. If you did not intend to kill the victim, you could not be convicted of murder.
Self-defense – You may be able to claim self-defense if you can show that you reasonably believed that you were in danger of being killed or seriously injured and that the only way to protect yourself was to kill the victim.
Defense of others – You may also be able to claim that you were defending someone else from being killed or seriously injured. For example, if you see someone being attacked and you kill the attacker to protect the victim, you may be able to raise the defense of others. However, you must prove to the jury that you reasonably believed that the victim was in danger of being killed or seriously injured and that the only way to protect the victim was to kill the attacker.
Accident – If you accidentally caused the death of another person, then you cannot be convicted of murder. The courts may lessen the charge to manslaughter if the prosecution can show that you were reckless.
Mistaken identity – If the prosecution has charged the wrong person with murder, you cannot be convicted. This case may happen if another person resembles you or has no eyewitnesses. If you can show that another person committed the murder and that the authorities mistakenly charged you with murder, then your murder defense lawyer Dallas may be able to raise this defense.
Intoxication – You might be able to use intoxication as a defense if you could not control your actions due to intoxication at the time of the murder. For the prosecutor to convict you of murder, they must prove that you had the required intent to kill. If you were so intoxicated that you could not form the necessary intent, you should not be convicted of murder.
Mental illness or disease – If you can prove that you suffered from a mental illness or disease, such as schizophrenia, at the time of the murder and did not understand what you were doing, then you may be able to raise this defense successfully. If the court accepts your mental illness or disease as a defense, you may be found not guilty because of insanity.
Insufficient evidence – To be convicted of murder, the prosecution must present sufficient evidence against you in court. If there is insufficient evidence, then your murder defense lawyer Dallas may be able to successfully raise this defense and get your case dismissed or have the charges against you reduced. Depending on the circumstances of your case and which reasons are available to you, you could face murder charges ranging from first-degree murder to vehicular homicide.
If you have been charged with murder in Texas and believe that one or more of these defenses may apply to your case, it is essential to consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your murder defense lawyer Dallas will review all the available evidence and work to build a strong defense on your behalf. With their help, you can protect your rights and fight to minimize any penalties that you may face if convicted.
Hiring An Murder Defense Lawyer In Dallas
While murder is a serious charge, it’s important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. If you have been accused or arrested for murder, the most important thing you can do is exercise your right to remain silent and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The sooner you hire an attorney, the better. Your murder defense lawyer Dallas will begin investigating your case immediately and work to build a strong defense on your behalf. With their help, you can protect your rights and fight to minimize any penalties that you may face if convicted. Contact a Texas criminal defense attorney today to get started on your murder defense.
The Medlin Law Firm has years of experience representing murder defendants in Texas, and they can provide the skilled legal representation you need during this difficult time. Call them today to set up a consultation with a murder defense lawyer Dallas and learn more about how they can help you defend against murder charges in Texas.