For Those Charged With a Crime
Criminal Defense When Facing Homicide Charges
Defending Your Rights in Texas
Although the Merriam-Webster dictionary clearly defines homicide to be an act of “a killing of one human being by another,” Texas Penal Code Title 5, chapter 19 declares homicide to be an act when “A person commits criminal homicide if he intentionally, knowingly, or with criminal negligence causes the death of an individual.” Texas criminal law breaks down homicide to cover four different types of serious crimes.
Because Texas addresses the criminal act of homicide with the utmost seriousness and sense of urgency, it is critically important for anyone charged with the crime to get in touch with a highly rated criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Texas homicide attorney Adam Capetillo will conduct a comprehensive investigation that includes interviewing witnesses and the examination of physical evidence.
Four Types of Criminal Homicide in Texas
Texas defines four types of criminal homicide, with each type of criminal homicide carrying a unique penalty.
Criminally Negligent Homicide
As a state jail felony, this homicide charge is often associated with an accidental act that involves criminal negligence. If you are charged with criminally negligent homicide, the best defense to use involves proving you were not negligent in performing the alleged act of homicide.
Manslaughter represents a form of murder that recklessly causes the death of someone else, but there was not a clear intent to premeditate the reckless act. Considered a second degree felony, a manslaughter conviction carries a penalty of between two and 20 years in prison, as well as a fine up to $10,000.
As a felony in the first degree, murder is a charge that can result in a conviction that carries a prison sentence between five years and life. A murder charge is made whenever the state believes there is enough evidence to convict a defendant who knowingly and intentionally took another person’s life.
Capital murder covers a broad range of illegal acts that include killing a fireman or a member of a law enforcement agency. It also includes killing someone while committing arson, robbery, or sexual assault. As a Capital felony, a conviction for a capital murder charge can trigger the death penalty or life in jail without the possibility of parole.
Possible Defenses for a Homicide Charge in Texas
If you face the serious charge of homicide in Texas, you need to work with a Texas licensed criminal defense lawyer who specializes in litigating homicide cases. An accomplished criminal defense attorney such as Adam Capetillo will know exactly how to defend you against all charges by using one of the following powerful defenses.
Self-defense comes in two forms for Texas defendants facing homicide charges: Perfect and imperfect. A perfect self-defense strategy tries to prove you acted because you truly believed your life was in danger. Adam Capetillo will prove you did not start the violence, as well as you used an amount of force that was proportionate to the amount of force used by the victim. An imperfect self-defense claim means you believed the force used was necessary, but a reasonable person would think otherwise.
Violations of Your Constitutional Rights
Homicide is such a serious charge that some law enforcement personnel cross the legal line when it comes to booking defendants, as well as searching the private property of someone suspected of committing a murder. Under the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution, law enforcement must acquire a legally valid search warrant to search private property. The 5th Amendment gives a suspect in a criminal case the right to remain silent, as well as the right to have access to an attorney.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
In all criminal charges, jurors must find someone guilty “Beyond a reasonable doubt”. This means criminal defense lawyer Adam Capetillo will work hard to plant the seed of doubt that acquits you of all homicide charges. Just one reasonable doubt may return a verdict of not guilty in a homicide case.
Facing a homicide charge will be the toughest thing you ever have to address. Be proactive by scheduling a free initial consultation with Adam Capetillo by submitting the online Contact Form or by calling Capetillo Law Firm at (346) 249-5544.