The terms homicide and murder are thrown around frequently without being defined. The truth is that there are different branches of homicide, with murder being the most serious criminal charge.
A lesser, but still serious charge, is manslaughter. What makes manslaughter distinct is the intent of the accused party. Murder generally has to involve the deliberate taking of another person’s life. Manslaughter, on the other hand, involves recklessly causing another person’s death.
What are some of the more common defenses to manslaughter?
In Texas, you are entitled to defend yourself with force if you reasonably believe that you are in harm’s way. This is the case both if you are out in public or within your own home.
The amount of force used must be proportionate to the threat. If the force used resulted in the death of another person, then manslaughter charges are a possibility. However, if you believed that your life was in danger, you may be able to lodge a self-defense argument in court.
Another common defense to manslaughter charges is factual innocence. Simply put, this means that you did not commit the crime you have been accused of. There are numerous ways in which you may be accused of a crime that you did not commit.
For instance, you could have been in the vicinity of the crime but did not play an active role. Maybe you were mistakenly identified as the perpetrator.
Manslaughter charges are serious and the penalties are severe. Fortunately, you have a number of defense options open to you if you find yourself in this position. It’s pivotal that you seek legal guidance from the moment you have been identified as a suspect by law enforcement.