Parnham & Associates
Criminal Law Attorneys in Houston, Texas
Crimes that involve homicide are extremely serious in terms of punishments involved. If you or someone you love is facing such a charge, it could literally be a life-or-death situation if the most serious charge has been filed. Fighting back with every legal option at your disposal has never been more important.
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Murder and Homicide Legal Defense:
Criminal homicide can be summarized as the act of unlawfully killing another person.
Conviction will dramatically and negatively alter your life and the life of your family. These cases are often very complex and require the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. According to Texas Penal Law, you are guilty of committing criminal homicide if you "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence" cause the death of another person.
Texas statutes define four different types of criminal homicide which range in severity:
- Murder – If you intentionally or knowingly cause the death of another person or if you intend to and do cause serious bodily injury resulting in death, you can be charged with murder. This is classified as either a second degree or first degree felony, depending upon the circumstances of your case, which could result in up to life imprisonment.
- Capital Murder – This type of murder is more serious and can be charged if varying circumstances are met. For example, if you commit murder for money or the promise of money, you can be charged with capital murder. This type of charge is a capital felony which could result in life imprisonment or punishment by death.
- Manslaughter – If you cause the death of another person due to your reckless actions or inactions, you could be charged with manslaughter. This is a felony of the second degree, which could result in up to 20 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.
In the USA there are various laws which allow a person to use reasonable force in defense of themselves, the defense of others, or the defense of property. Legal definitions and statutes vary from state to state, however there is a general distinction between the use of deadly and non-deadly force. A person may use non-deadly force to prevent imminent injury, however a person may not use deadly force unless that person is in reasonable fear of serious injury or death. Some states also include a duty to retreat provision, when deadly force may only be used if the person is unable to safely retreat. A person is generally not obligated to retreat if in one's own home. According to section 9.31 of the State of Texas Penal Code, a person is generally justified in using force against another "...when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force." The use of force is not justified in response to verbal provocation alone, when resisting an arrest or search made by a recognized peace officer, or if the defendant consented to the force used by the other party.
If you have been charged with murder or homicide you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact Parnham & Associates today at (713) 224.3967 or use our convenient online submission form. Depending on the circumstances, we have many options in mounting a strong defense for you.
Our attorneys are intimately familiar with all facets of criminal defense and may help clients with the following:
- Work to get the charges dropped or lowered
- Interview police, involved parties, and any possible witnesses to expose any lies or exaggerations
- Make sure that no evidence against our client was obtained illegally
- Conduct a thorough pre-trial investigation
- Employ a private investigator, ballistics expert, polygraphist, or any other experts that may be able to help strengthen our client's defense
- Obtain expert witnesses to testify on behalf of our clients
- Negotiate with prosecutors to make sure our clients face the minimum possible penalties
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The Law Office of Parnham & Associates
440 Louisiana St., Suite 200 (The Lyric Centre), Houston, TX 77002
Phone: (713) 224.3967 | Fax: 713.224.2815
This is for general informational purpose only. This information: • DOES NOT represent a legal advice or opinion, • DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship, • DOES NOT account for community-supervision eligibility, special punishment issues, mandatory minimum confinement, enhancements, and "Exceptional Sentences" under Chapter 12 Subchapter D of the Texas Penal Code, • DOES NOT apply Corporations & Associations. • DOES NOT represent the unique circumstances of your case.