Were you arrested on manslaughter charges in Dallas or the surrounding communities? Your future and freedom could be on the line. An experienced Dallas manslaughter defense lawyer at the Edgett Law Firm can launch an aggressive defense to protect your legal rights.

Time is always of the essence when you’re accused of a crime in Texas. Call our law offices today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who can help.

How Can An Experienced Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer Help With My Manslaughter Defense?

man with handcufs

Manslaughter is a serious offense in the state of Texas. As anyone who lives in the state knows, law enforcement will do everything in their power to punish these crimes to the fullest extent of the law. That can mean you’re facing years in prison–as well as potentially irreparable damage to your reputation and personal relationships.

Police and prosecutors in Texas have virtually unlimited resources. They’ll use those resources to conduct a full-scale investigation to locate evidence that can be used to convict you of manslaughter. If you want to fight back, you’ll need the help of an experienced and established Dallas criminal defense lawyer.

At the Edgett Law Firm, we have over 22 years of experience aggressively defending the rights of criminal defendants across Dallas. We’ve helped thousands of people minimize the consequences of criminal allegations like manslaughter and sexual assault in Texas. 

When you choose to hire our attorneys, you can expect that we will:

  • Do everything possible to protect your constitutional rights
  • Conduct a full and independent investigation to locate any evidence that might poke holes in the prosecution’s case
  • Fight to have your charges dropped or downgraded
  • Move to have any illegally obtained evidence or statements excluded from consideration in your case
  • Provide sound legal guidance so that you can make smart decisions as your case progresses
  • Make sure you understand all available options in your case
  • Create a custom-tailored defense specifically designed for the circumstances surrounding your case
  • Vigorously defend your rights at trial if necessary

When it comes to your freedom and future, the experience of your defense lawyer is critical. Our lawyers have a proven track record where it matters most–winning not guilty verdicts at trial. If you’re ready to learn more about how we can put our skills and knowledge to work for you, all you have to do is call. Your case review is always free, so it never hurts to ask for legal advice.

Overview of Texas Manslaughter Laws

Manslaughter and murder are two very different criminal offenses. The key difference between the crimes is the defendant’s intent. To convict on murder charges, the prosecution must prove criminal intent and malice beyond a reasonable doubt. Conviction on homicide charges could lead to 99 years in prison or even the death penalty if you’re facing capital murder charges.

Manslaughter, on the other hand, is an unintentional crime by definition. Some states distinguish between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. In Texas, this isn’t the case. If the prosecution can successfully prove that you were reckless, you can face the same serious penalties.

Regardless of the criminal charges you’re facing, don’t underestimate the importance of having a proven lawyer in your corner. At the Edgett Law Firm, our criminal defense lawyers in Dallas will do everything we can to help protect your future.

Manslaughter vs. Criminally Negligent Homicide

The definition of manslaughter under Texas Penal Code Section 19.04 is simple. A defendant is guilty of manslaughter if he or she recklessly causes the death of another person. 

All the prosecution has to prove is that:

  • Your actions were reckless
  • Someone else died because of your reckless actions

Importantly, the prosecution doesn’t have to prove that you intended to cause anyone harm. Sometimes, the prosecution will charge you with manslaughter if they don’t believe they have the proof necessary to convict on murder charges. 

The key to proving manslaughter can lie in establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions were reckless. Our lawyers will do everything we can to make this as difficult as possible for the prosecution.

If your acts were merely “criminally negligent” and you caused the death of another, your charges could be downgraded to criminally negligent homicide. Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony that carries penalties that are much less severe.

Regardless of the circumstances, you must take the charges seriously. You might not be facing first-degree murder charges–but make no mistake, your future is on the line. Our lawyers are always here to help. Just call to arrange a free case evaluation today.

Intoxication Manslaughter Under Texas Law

Intoxication manslaughter is a separate offense under Texas Penal Code Section 49.08. A person is guilty of intoxication manslaughter if he or she:

  • Operates a motor vehicle in a public place, or an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride
  • Is intoxicate and, because of that intoxication, causes someone else’s death by accident or mistake

While the elements of the crime are different, intoxication manslaughter is also a second-degree felony under Texas Law. However, in many cases, the state might bring intoxication manslaughter charges in addition to the underlying DWI charge. That makes getting experienced legal help especially important.

Our lawyers have been helping clients build aggressive defense strategies for more than two decades. Reach out to our firm today to get legal help if you or a loved one have been charged with intoxication manslaughter in Dallas.

Possible Penalties For a Manslaughter Conviction in Texas

Texas law enforcement officials take violent crimes extremely seriously. Manslaughter in Texas is a second-degree felony. 

If convicted, your penalty can include:

  • Between two and 20 years in prison
  • $10,000 in fines

As with standard manslaughter, these penalties also apply if you’re charged with intoxication manslaughter. 

Additional penalties could include:

  • Between 240 and 800 hours of community service
  • Supervised probation

A conviction will also result in a criminal record that can last for a lifetime. Each time you apply for a job or housing, you could have to disclose your criminal background. 

Judges have significant leeway in sentencing. Even if convicted, your criminal defense attorney’s skills can make all the difference in terms of the length of your prison sentence. Of course, at the Edgett Law Firm, our primary goal is to have your charges dropped or obtain an acquittal. 

Wherever you are in the criminal process, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to call our law offices to schedule a free case review and discuss options in your case today.

Penalties Upon Conviction For Criminally Negligent Homicide

Because criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony, the potential punishment is much less harsh. If convicted, you’ll still face jail time and fines, but those will be limited to a possible:

  • 180 days to two years in state jail
  • Up to a maximum $10,000 fine

Getting manslaughter charges downgraded depends upon showing that your actions were merely careless, rather than reckless in nature. This is a highly fact-intensive process. That’s why our lawyers always conduct a full investigation to find out what happened. 

Remember, the prosecution’s evidence isn’t always definitive. We might be able to locate video footage or eyewitnesses who can testify about the nature of your actions. Our law firm has the resources you need in your corner during this challenging time. Just give us a call today to set up a time to talk about your options.

Possible Defenses to Manslaughter in Dallas, Texas

As in any criminal case, allegations that you committed manslaughter don’t have to lead to a conviction for the crime. There are a number of different defense strategies that can prove effective depending upon the facts of your case. 

Some of those defenses might include:

  • Identifying constitutional violations
  • Filing a motion to have illegally obtained evidence dismissed
  • Establishing that you did not actually commit the actions that the prosecution alleges caused the victim’s death
  • Proving that something other than your actions actually caused the victim’s death
  • Proving that your actions were merely negligent, rather than reckless
  • Establishing that you were acting in self-defense
  • Challenging whether the prosecution’s evidence is sufficient to prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt

Every case involving criminal law is different. You need an experienced lawyer in your corner who will put in the work necessary to identify the defense strategies that will work in your case. 

At the Edgett Law Firm, our criminal defense lawyers in Dallas take every case seriously. We’ll work tirelessly to build a defense designed to get the best results possible under the circumstances.

Contact an Experienced Dallas Manslaughter Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Freedom Today

If you’re charged with unintentionally taking someone else’s life, you don’t have to take on this battle alone. In fact, trying to handle your case alone could easily make the situation worse. An experienced Dallas manslaughter defense lawyer at the Edgett Law Firm can help you build the strongest defense strategy possible.

Are you ready to learn more about protecting your future? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our law firm to learn more about our practice areas and what we can do to protect your rights. We offer a free initial consultation so that you don’t have to worry about finances up front. We represent clients across the Dallas Fort Worth area.