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Facing Manslaughter Charges in Texas and the Southwest

As a term, manslaughter defines incidents that result in a person’s death. In the state of Texas, manslaughter is considered a second degree felony. Unlike other states, however, common terms such as “involuntary” or “voluntary” manslaughter are not used in Texas. State laws combine these two terms into a unified charge. Penalties differ under varying circumstances. The Texas Penal Code defines manslaughter as a situation in which a person commits an offense that recklessly causes the death of an individual. Individuals in the El Paso area can seek legal assistance from Sergio Coronado Law.


What Leads to a Manslaughter Conviction

In order to be convicted of manslaughter, prosecutors must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant’s reckless actions caused the death of another person. Reckless conduct does not require any premeditation or any knowledge or intent on the part of the defendant. The sole requirement is that of the defendant’s conduct being reckless. Although Texas doesn’t make use of terms such as “involuntary” and “voluntary” manslaughter, the state does treat certain types of manslaughter differently. These two types of manslaughter are intoxication manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter. Intoxication manslaughter constitutes instances wherein the defendant’s intoxicated and reckless actions caused another’s death. Vehicular manslaughter constitutes a defendant causing another’s death while driving a vehicle.


Possible Defenses

If you’ve been charged with manslaughter, it’s crucial to seek legal counsel. This way, your lawyer can build the best defense in order to reduce or even remove the punishments of the crime. Insanity, self-defense, and “heat of passion” defense are the most common defenses for manslaughter in Texas.

  • Insanity
  • The defendant must meet the legal definition of insanity at the time of the homicide. If this is the case, the justice system will not hold the defendant accountable for his or her actions.
  • Self-Defense
  • The state of Texas has many statutes that address the use of self-defense. An individual can use force if he or she believes another individual was committing or attempting to commit murder, sexual assault, or robbery, among other examples. Deadly force might be used in these situations, especially if an individual enters or attempts to enter a victim’s home, vehicle, or place of business.
  • “Heat of Passion” Defense
  • This term is used to define instances in which the defendant is provoked to commit the crime of manslaughter by fear, rage, terror, or any other extreme emotion.


Get The Legal Defense You Deserve

Manslaughter is a second degree felony which carries a sentence from 2 to 20 years in state prison with the potential addition of a fine of no more than $10,000. If you’re in the El Paso area, contact Sergio Coronado Law today. We’re ready to take on your case.


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