Gale Law Group
525 Clifford Street
Corpus Christi, TX 78404

Homicide FAQ

A homicide offense occurs when someone other than the deceased was responsible for his or her death. If this is the case, there will definitely be an investigation. The scope and depth of this process will depend on how much the police suspects that someone else was responsible for the person’s death. Murder is one of the homicide types, and one of them is capital murder (which carries the maximum penalty of death). While this is the most serious of all the homicide offenses, others will also carry severe penalties (which can be up to 2 years in a state jail to up to 20 years in prison).

homicide faq
What is the current law for murder in the State of Texas?

Someone commits a murder offense in the State of Texas if he or she:
-Intentionally or knowingly causes someone else’s death.
-Plans to cause serious bodily injury and performs actions that are clearly dangerous to human life, which results in someone else’s death.
-Commits or attempts to commit a felony (other than manslaughter) and, in the actions related to the attempt, commits or attempts to commit an act that’s clearly dangerous to human life (which results in someone else’s death).

What is the range of penalties for a murder conviction in the State of Texas?

Murder is considered a first-degree felony in the State of Texas, which can lead to anywhere from 5 years to life in prison. But if you can prove that you “caused the death under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause” by presenting evidence during the punishment stage of a trial (after you have been convicted), it will be considered a second-degree felony with a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

What’s the best defense for a murder or manslaughter charge?

The best defense for any homicide charge is one that starts before you have been arrested. If you’re under investigation for a homicide crime, make sure you consult an attorney before you agree to cooperate with a police investigation or interrogation. This type of decision isn’t one that you should make alone. Be sure to speak to someone at Gale Law Group, so you can get representation throughout the process.
The best defense also consists of a good offense. This will involve a thorough investigation that you perform independently, an evaluation or investigation conducted by the police department, and collecting forensic evidence. Our team of qualified attorneys can coordinate this process, so you can come up with the most effective defense. If you or a loved one has been arrested on homicide charges, the investigation isn’t over. In fact, it’s only the beginning. We can work with the State on all the evidence it has collected, so we can find the best legal defense for all of their accusations.

What is criminally negligent homicide?

According to Texas Law, criminally negligent homicide is committed when you cause someone else’s death due to “criminal negligence” and is considered a state jail felony. This is a critical defense to understand. You’ll have to look at case laws and what the jury has determined. Be sure to speak to someone at Gale Law Group for more information.

Can I go to prison for a homicide charge?

It depends on the circumstances of your case. To put it simply, punishment is typically a function of culpability, which can range from intentional or reckless killing to a fluke accident. However, there are no longer any homicide cases in Texas that are classified as misdemeanors. If someone died and you have been charged, prison is definitely a possibility. But whether that happens is a different story.

Can homicide cases be dismissed?

Like any other criminal charge, homicide cases can be dismissed. It’s not as common for a homicide charge to be dismissed compared to other criminal cases, but it does happen.

Can I get a probation for a homicide charge?

It depends on the type of charge, but it might only be available from the jury and not the judge. Your criminal history also plays a role on the eligibility and odds of getting a probation.

How does “self-defense” apply to a homicide case?

This is a complicated area of the law. But to put it simply, any type of killing may be justified if you believed that deadly force was immediately necessary. Many more factors go into it, so this type of inquiry needs to be addressed by an experienced attorney.

Is it legal to kill for self-defense?

It’s generally legal to kill for self-defense, which involves the use of force that resulted in the death of someone who you feel will put your life in danger. If you’re afraid for your life and you believe there’s no other option, you can use lethal force to protect yourself from imminent danger.

Is the “stand my ground” law a valid defense against a homicide charge?

This can be a valid defense against a homicide charge, but Texas doesn’t call it “stand my ground” (which is a term that was popularized by several cases that were broadcast on television). If you’re in your house and an intruder enters your property (regardless of the reason), you are allowed to use lethal force to stop this person. You don’t have to retreat.

Can you shoot someone who is trying to break into your vehicle?

The law doesn’t consider the defense of property (including your vehicle) as a life-threatening situation, so you’re not allowed to shoot someone who is trying to break into your vehicle (which is considered to be a misdemeanor offense).

What are the different types of homicide in Texas?

The four types of homicide in the State of Texas include:
Felony Murder — This is the most common type of murder charge, which is defined as “intentionally or knowingly causing the death of an individual.” But it can also get complicated. You may have been committing another crime, and you engaged in actions that were dangerous to human life (which resulted in someone else’s death).
Capital Murder — This is the most publicized type of murder charge because it can lead to the death penalty, but it can be charged in a variety of ways. The most common type of capital murder is killing a police officer or fireman while he or she was engaged in duties as a public servant, but it can also involve other actions (such as kidnapping, burglary, robbery, and aggravated sexual assault).
Manslaughter — This is often committed when someone “recklessly causes the death of an individual,” so it’s pretty straightforward.
Criminally Negligent Homicide — This is often committed when someone causes the death of someone through an act of criminal negligence, but these types of cases are pretty rare. The defense will often go for a manslaughter charge during a murder trial, but it usually depends on the circumstances of the case.

If you’re looking for the best criminal defense attorney in Corpus Christi for homicide cases, be sure to get in touch with Gale Law Group.