Criminally Negligent Homicide Defense
Houston Criminally Negligent Homicide Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
When an individual dies as a result of an accident, a criminally negligent homicide charge can be brought. In order for this charge to arise, there must have been criminal negligence involved. In law, there is a “reasonable person” standard that serves to show what a reasonable person would do under certain circumstances. According to the Texas Penal Code, criminal negligence is a “gross deviation” from that reasonable person standard.
There is no clear-cut determination for what is considered reasonable. As such, minimally careless acts such as speeding or running a traffic light are sometimes blown out of proportion by law enforcement, and an individual is subsequently charged.
Criminally Negligent Homicide Penalties
Criminally negligent murder is considered to be a state jail felony. Those convicted of this crime face sanctions that can include:
- Jail time ranging from six months to two years
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Community Service
There can be additional sanctions aside from those imposed for negligent homicide. For example, an individual could end up with a suspended driver’s license if the act involved a motor vehicle accident. Aside from the criminal punishments involved, being charged with negligent murder can make it difficult for individuals to find suitable employment or housing. Murder charges (of any kind) could strain social relationships as well.
Defending Against Negligent Homicide Allegations
The burden of proof is always on the government to show that an individual acted outside the reasonable person standard. A negligent murder attorney will attempt to show that the defendant was acting in a responsible manner when the accident occurred. Witness statements and forensic evidence will be carefully examined in order to ensure that data is not being misconstrued in an effort to hold someone accountable.
In cases where a person was truly negligent, it can sometimes be possible to mitigate charges through plea bargaining. An experienced negligent homicide attorney will look at the circumstances surrounding the offense carefully to see if this is something that would be beneficial to the client.
Call a Criminally Negligent Homicide Attorney
If you’ve been involved in an accident that resulted in the death of another, don’t wait for charges to be filed. Law enforcement is less likely to harass you if they know you are represented by a skilled criminal attorney, which could mean that charges may not even be filed at all. Matthew Sharp will ensure your legal rights are protected. To find out more, pick up the phone and speak to The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp.