Murder charges may be the most serious criminal charge someone can face, and the mere accusation can carry long-term traumatic effects that go beyond a personal reputation. Murder is when a person intentionally or knowingly causes the death of another, or when they intentionally cause serious bodily injury and their actions lead to death. Performing illegal activities – like armed robbery – that result in someone’s death is also considered murder. Murder is considered a first-degree felony which can result in a punishment of 5 years to life in prison as well as fines up to $10,000.
Unintentionally causing someone’s death is not considered murder. If reckless negligence directly causes someone’s death, this is considered criminally negligent homicide and in some cases, involuntary manslaughter. An example of criminally negligent homicide could be a driver who runs a red light while texting and hits another vehicle or pedestrian, thus directly causing their death. Manslaughter usually results in a lesser sentence than murder. It is punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison, and criminally negligent homicide is punishable by 180 days to 2 years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
Capital murder considered to be a “more severe” form of murder, punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole. Examples of actions that are considered capital include killing a police officer or firefighter, killing multiple people, or killing someone while committing another felony – like escaping prison.
Texas leads the U.S. in the greatest number of executions and still seeks the death penalty with some murder charges. Even if the accused committed the crime, capital punishment does nothing to deter or prevent these crimes from happening. It’s especially inhumane to send individuals to spend years or decades on death row, to spend the rest of their life in fear of the unknown.
There is no guarantee that this practice will ever end soon, which is why an aggressive legal strategy is required to give the accused the best possible outcome, or at least a chance to live a normal life in the future. Our firm utilizes an expert investigator to conduct our own investigation to ensure that no stone is left unturned. We use our resources to find inconsistencies in the prosecution’s testimony and evidence that lead to a fair trial. Do not wait to be officially charged if you believe you are a suspect in a murder case. To have your legal questions answered and rights clearly explained, call our office at (806) 372-5711.