Defending Against Manslaughter Charges in Texas
In Texas, manslaughter is a very serious second-degree felony offense that carries with it severe penalties and the possibility of a lengthy jail term. If you have been charged with manslaughter, it is essential you understand the severity of the situation. It is strongly recommended that you contact a criminal defense attorney, as this may be your only hope of fighting these charges and pursuing a favorable outcome in your case. Criminal defense attorneys are well-equipped with the knowledge necessary to build a legal defense against violent crimes like manslaughter.
What to Know About Manslaughter in Texas
Manslaughter is defined in Texas as recklessly causing the death of another person. As stated at the outset, manslaughter is prosecuted as a second-degree felony, which can result in a prison term of between two and 20 years. However, if found guilty, the sentence you may receive will depend on several factors, most importantly, the circumstances surrounding the incident.
How Your Attorney Can Help You Fight the Charges
Aside from building a legal defense strategy, your attorney needs to be an excellent negotiator, as they may be able to negotiate a deal with prosecutors to reduce the charges to something less than a second-degree felony. Regarding your defense strategy, the strategy you and your lawyer choose will depend on the particulars of the case. Considerations may include:
- The evidence – Your attorney will carefully examine the evidence to identify potential weaknesses or errors in the prosecution’s case.
- Self-defense – If your actions leading up to the incident were done in self-defense or the defense of another person, it may be possible to argue that your actions were justified, which could result in reduced or dropped charges. Since manslaughter typically involves reckless actions, claiming self-defense may be difficult. Unlike murder, manslaughter does not require intent or any premeditation. All the prosecution will need to prove is that you acted so recklessly that a reasonable person would have known the risks of what they were doing, yet they did it anyway, resulting in someone’s death.
- Plea bargaining – In some cases, plea bargaining can provide reduced charges and penalties in exchange for a guilty plea. If this presents itself as an option in your case, your attorney will work to formulate an optimal agreement to serve your best interests.
Contact a San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney
Contact the skilled San Antonio, Texas criminal defense lawyer with Law Offices of Sam H. Lock for legal representation in your criminal matter. Call 210-226-0965 for a free consultation.
Source - https://texas.public.law/statutes/tex._penal_code_section_19.04