HAVE YOU BEEN WRONGLY ACCUSED OF HOMICIDE?
A homicide occurs if a person intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causes the death of an individual. However, it does not necessarily mean murder. In Texas, you can commit a homicide even if you have no intention of harming someone else. Some accidents are still considered a homicide. Depending on the facts of your case the punishment for a homicide range from the death penalty to a probation.
In Texas a murder is defined in section 19.02 of the Texas Penal Code. Murder can occur in three ways:
- When a person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another person
- If a person intends to cause serious bodily injury to another person and ends up causing their death
- If someone is committing a felony, other than manslaughter, and in the course of that felony or the immediate flight therefrom commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.
The first instance is rather straight forward. Bob wants to kill Dan, so he shoots and kills him with a gun. That is murder.
The second way murder could occur is if Bob wanted to really hurt Dan but only cause him serious bodily injury. So Bob shoots Dan in the stomach hoping to hurt him but not necessarily kill him. If Dan dies from the injury that would still be considered murder.
Finally, the third example of how someone can be charged with murder is if Bob was driving in a stolen car. The police try to arrest Bob but he drives away refusing to stop. He is committing the felony of evading arrest in a motor vehicle. If Bob were to accidentally run into Dan and kill him while he was trying to escape he has still committed murder. Someone charged with murder is facing up to five years or life in prison.
As you can see from above, the range of punishment is extreme because not all murder cases are equally as egregious. There is no possibility of probation on a murder charge.
Capital murder is the most serious category of homicide and the punishment could result in the death penalty. Typically, a capital murder is committed in one of the following ways:
- Murder of a police officer/fireman
- Murder during the course of another serious offense (like kidnapping or robbery)
- Murder of hire
- Murder while escaping prison/jail
- Murder while in prison if you are already serving a life sentence for murder or you murder
an employee of the prison
- Murdering more than one person
- Murder of a person younger than 10 years of age
- Murder of more than one person at a time
- Murder as a means of retaliating against a judge or juro