Under Title 5, Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code, there are different
degrees of “criminal homicide.” What constitutes criminal
homicide? Under Sec. 19.01, a person is guilty of criminal homicide when
he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly takes someone else’s life.
In Texas, criminal homicide includes the following offenses: capital murder,
manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide. Of these four homicide crimes, capital
murder is the most serious. For the purposes of this post, we’re
going to take a closer look at
capital murder in Texas.
What is capital murder?
Capital murder is covered under
Sec. 19.03 of the Texas Penal Code; under this section, a person commits capital
murder when he or she “intentionally and knowingly” cause
the death of another person and:
- The victim is a police officer or a firemen who was on duty,
- The defendant intentionally kills the victim while committing or attempting
to commit another crime, such as burglary, arson, kidnapping, obstruction,
retaliation, aggravated sexual assault, or robbery,
- The defendant commits murder for hire,
- The defendant murders a child under the age of 10,
- The defendant commits the murder while incarcerated, or
- The defendant commits murder (murder while in prison) while serving a life
sentence or a term of 99 years for certain offenses under the Texas Penal Code.
The offense of capital murder in Texas is a
capital felony, punishable by the
death penalty, life without parole, or life (if the defendant committed the crime while
they were under the age of 18).
While capital murder is a serious homicide crime, we cannot ignore the
fact that under certain circumstances, an innocent person will kill another
person out of self-defense. Under
Title 2, Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code, there are specific exceptions or protections
for self-defense, for example, a person may be protected if he or she
killed out of “necessity” or “self-defense.”
If you are facing criminal homicide charges in Plano, it’s critical
that you seek help immediately.
The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to discuss the details of your case and the potential defense options
available under the Title 2, Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code.