Some careless or reckless activity can cause serious injury or death. When someone dies as a result of someone else's careless behavior, that person can be held criminally responsible. Even if they never meant for the other person to die, recklessly causing someone's death is manslaughter Texas.
If you or someone you know was charged with manslaughter in Texas, contact Texas criminal lawyer Jason S. English to fight for your rights, stay out of jail, and keep a manslaughter conviction off your record.
Manslaughter in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 19.04, a person commits manslaughter if he or she “recklessly causes the death of an individual.”
Difference Between Manslaughter and Murder
With manslaughter, the person accused may not mean to kill the other person or did not intend to cause death. Manslaughter charges can involve death was caused by some reckless conduct.
Penalties for Manslaughter in Texas
Manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Texas. As a second-degree felony, the penalties may include:
- State prison sentence of between 2 and 20 years; and
- Fine of up to $10,000.
There are consequences that follow even after the individual has served their sentence and paid any fines. There are limited rights and restrictions that a felon will have to deal with for most of the rest of their lives. This includes:
- Voting restrictions,
- Restrictions on holding certain offices,
- Difficulty finding a job,
- Difficulty getting housing,
- Restrictions on certain professions, and
- Prohibited from owning a firearm.
Vehicular Manslaughter in Texas
In Texas, drunk driving that causes a fatal accident may be charged as intoxication manslaughter. Texas Penal Code § 49.08, intoxication manslaughter involves a person who:
A person commits an offense if the person:
- Operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and
- Is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.
Intoxication manslaughter is also a second-degree felony, like traditional manslaughter, and carries similar penalties. Intoxication manslaughter may also result in a suspended license, and substance abuse treatment.
If a fatal DWI accident causes death to a firefighter or emergency medical services personnel, then intoxication manslaughter can be charged as a first-degree felony. The penalties for a first-degree felony in Texas can include:
- State prison sentence of between 5 and 99 years; and
- Fine of up to $10,000.
Austin Criminal Defense Attorney
Jason S. English was a criminal prosecutor for 15 years. He understands how prosecutors approach felony criminal cases and what they do to try and get the accused to plead guilty. Before pleading guilty to any crime, make sure you understand your rights and options to fight the criminal charges.
If you are accused of manslaughter in Texas, it is important to speak to a criminal defense attorney right away. Contact Texas criminal defense lawyer Jason S. English online or call (512) 454-7548. With his many years of experience prosecuting felony offenses in Texas, Jason S. English is well-prepared to fight for your constitutional rights.