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Will I Go to Jail for Accidentally Killing Someone?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Texas homicide defense lawyerYou may have heard horror stories in the news - friends being careless while driving, tragic accidents between family members out hunting, or a night of partying gone wrong - but never thought such a thing would happen to you. Yet accidental killings do sometimes happen, and when they do, they change lives forever. While the victim’s family and friends suffer the greatest loss, the person responsible for an accidental death will also have to deal with terrible consequences, whether or not criminal charges are filed. When criminal charges are filed, an excellent criminal defense attorney is essential for preventing even more suffering. 

Criminal Charges for Accidental Killings in Texas

Killing someone in Texas can be prosecuted as murder, capital murder, involuntary manslaughter or voluntary manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide. Involuntary manslaughter charges can be brought after an act of recklessness that kills someone, but which was not committed with the intent to cause serious harm or death. Driving drunk and crashing and killing someone is a classic example of involuntary manslaughter. But what about when a death is truly an accident? In these cases, charges of criminally negligent homicide may still be brought. 

Consequences for Criminally Negligent Homicide

To successfully prove someone is guilty of criminally negligent homicide, the prosecution must show that the person knew, or should have known, that the action they took was risky and could have caused someone else to die. Even if the defendant claims they did not know the action was risky, they may still be found guilty if a reasonable person would not have committed it in the same circumstances. 

Examples of criminally negligent homicide include:

  • Leaving a child alone in a car on a hot day
  • College hazing incidents
  • Speeding or recklessly driving
  • Fighting 
  • Not calling 911 in an emergency 

Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony in Texas. While this is the least severe kind of felony charge, it still carries up to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines, plus a permanent criminal record. 

Meet with a Dallas-Fort Worth Manslaughter Defense Lawyer

In addition to the tragedy of accidentally causing the loss of human life, you may now be facing charges of homicide or manslaughter. Even if you have not yet been charged and are being investigated by police, do not talk to them without an experienced Texas homicide defense attorney at your side. Increase your chances of getting a fair trial by having The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. with you from the beginning. Call us today at 214-303-9600

 

Source: 

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.19.htm

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