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Understanding the burden of proof in a manslaughter case

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Manslaughter Defense |

Manslaughter is a serious offense under Texas law. When a Houston resident is charged with manslaughter, they can expect to face significant challenges as they work their way through the criminal justice system. They have a right to legal counsel if they so choose, and securing a dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer can be an asset to a defendant as their future hangs in the balance.

Working through a criminal trial based on manslaughter charges can be overwhelming, but at its core it is up to the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. This post will look at the burden of proof in a manslaughter charge and what it means to those who must overcome it.

What does “beyond a reasonable doubt” mean?

The standard of beyond a reasonable doubt is high. It is not capricious or arbitrary. It requires certainty, and it requires a commitment to the idea that there is no other possible conclusion a jury could make from the evidence presented. To that end, when a Texan is charged with manslaughter, their ability to poke holes in a prosecutor’s case, or present contrary evidence, can help them overcome the high standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

Crafting a unique defense to a specific manslaughter case

Manslaughter charges can take on different forms. A charge may be based on voluntary or involuntary actions. Allegations may be made due to a defendant’s alleged negligent or reckless behavior. Because charges, facts and circumstances can differ, defendants should be prepared to develop unique defense strategies. Their attorneys can help them each step of the way.