Criminally Negligent Homicide Texas | Law and Defense

 In Criminal

What is criminally negligent homicide?

Criminally negligent homicide takes a typically civil concept – negligence – and holds a person criminally responsible for the death of another. In the case of criminally negligent homicide, a person acted negligently in a way that they did something they should have known was a gross deviation from what a reasonable person would have done and it caused the death of an individual.

What is Criminal Negligence?

A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.

What is Reckless?

A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.

What’s the difference between Criminally Negligent Homicide and Manslaughter?

Example of Criminally Negligent Homicide

Let’s use this example to distinguish between criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter in Texas. Imagine a man driving his vehicle on nearly bald tires is unable to stop in time to avoid hitting another vehicle and killing another driver. There will certainly be a strong argument that he should have been aware that driving on bald tires was a taking a substantial and unjustifiable risk that he could cause the death of another.

Example of Manslaughter

Now let’s build on the example and imagine the driver failed a state inspection and knows he needs to replace his tires, and then is involved in a traffic accident where he is unable to stop in time and causes the death of another. Here, the State will be able to allege that he was aware of but consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that caused the death of another. These facts might rise to the level of manslaughter in Texas. Learn more about manslaughter in Texas.

What is the punishment for Criminally Negligent Homicide in Texas?

Criminally negligent homicide is a State Jail Felony in Texas. A person who causes the death of an individual by criminal negligence has committed a state jail felony under the Texas Penal Code. The punishment range is six months to two years in State Jail and up to a $10,000 fine.

What is the Statute of Limitations for Criminally Negligent Homicide in Texas?

The Statute of Limitations for Criminally Negligent Homicide is three years in Texas.

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Call us at (817) 203-2220 for a complimentary strategy session. Our team of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Lawyers are here to help. During this call we will:

  • Discuss the facts of your case;
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  • Discuss the defenses that apply to your plan and in general terms discuss our approach to your case.

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CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE.

Penal Code Section 19.05

(a)  A person commits an offense if he causes the death of an individual by criminal negligence.

(b)  An offense under this section is a state jail felony.


Also published on Medium.

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