Manslaughter Texas | What is Manslaughter | Texas Homicide Defense

What is Manslaughter in Texas?

In the simplest terms, recklessly causing the death of a person is manslaughter in Texas. The potential punishment range for manslaughter is 2 to 20 years in prison, making it a second-degree felony.

What is a second degree felony?

A felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine is a second-degree felony in Texas.

What is intoxication manslaughter?

Intoxication manslaughter is also a second-degree felony, but does not have a mental state requirement. (That is, it is not required to show the persona acted recklessly.) Instead, it adds the element of intoxication. Learn more about intoxication manslaughter in Texas.

What is the difference between manslaughter and murder?

Murder generally requires an “intentional” or “knowing” mental state for the offense committed. The mental state requirement for manslaughter is “recklessly.”

What does it mean to act intentionally under criminal law?

Intentionally means that is the actor’s conscious objective to cause the result.

What does it mean to act knowingly under criminal law?

A person acts knowingly when he is aware of the nature of his conduct

What does it mean to act recklessly under criminal law?

A person acts recklessly 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 is the difference in potential punishment between manslaughter and murder?

Manslaughter is a second degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Murder is a first-degree felony that carries a punishment range of up to life in prison.

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If you have been charged with a homicide – from manslaughter to murder, contact us at (817) 203-2220 or online:

Penal Code Section 19.04


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

(b)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.