Your Guide to Murder Laws in Texas

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murder laws in Texas

Have you ever thought about what you would do if you were caught with blood on your hands? Whether or not you find yourself in this situation, it is important to familiarize yourself with the murder laws in Texas.

A federal criminal charge is a serious offense, and in some cases can lead to the death penalty.

Every state is different, and if you are tried with a murder charge in the state of Texas, you should know what you’re up against. Here is your short guide to the murder laws in Texas.

An Overview of Murder Laws in Texas

In Texas, murder crimes are defined in various ways. Texas law states a person could be charged with murder if they:

  • Cause death to another person
  • Intentionally seek to cause bodily injury to another individual
  • Commit a dangerous act that results in death to another person
  • Commit/attempt another type of felony (other than manslaughter)
  • Furthering the attempt to commit the offense
  • Fleeing from the attempt to commit the offense

This generally falls under the umbrella term of “criminal homicide”, which includes criminal negligence and manslaughter. If tried in a homicide case, there are several degrees of murder as well as other factors considered in a courtroom.

Criminal Homicide vs. Capital Murder

Not all forms of homicide are criminal. If you were defending yourself in a situation where you were in danger, you may not be charged at all. There are varying degrees of homicide murder and then there is capital murder, which is a very serious offense.

Criminal homicide includes willful intent, negligence, involuntary manslaughter, all the way to first-degree murder.

First-Degree Murder

First-degree murder and second-degree murder can seem very similar, and sometimes it can be tricky to tell the difference.

The biggest difference between first and second-degree murder is whether it was planned or “a crime of passion”. A first-degree murder is pre-planned. Whereas second-degree murder is unplanned, but still resulted in the death of a human being.

If a person is convicted of a first-degree murder they could face between 5-99 years in prison. As well as a minimum fine of $10,000.

Capital Murder

Capital Murder is also known as an “unforgivable offense”. These crimes are tried with the utmost severity. If you are facing a capital offense, it would be wise to find a defense attorney immediately.

Capital offenses are crimes like murdering a peace office or firefighter in active duty, intentionally commits murder while committing another felony, murder for hire, murder while in jail or trying to escape from jail, the murder of a person under the age of 10 years, or murder of a person in the judiciary.

If convicted of a capital felony offense and over the age of 17, it is likely the state will pursue the death penalty. If the state does not, the criminal will face mandatory life in prison.

Find a Defense Attorney Today

Are you currently facing charges for one of the criminal offenses listed above? Our seasoned and skilled defense attorneys can help your case.

Give us a call today at 713-229-9992 or fill out our contact form here.

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