Dedicated And Skilled Defense Against Homicide Charges
If you are accused of causing another person’s death, you know the stakes could not be higher. As a capital punishment state, Texas is known for taking such cases very seriously. When you face a murder or manslaughter charge, do not take any chances. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has managed these cases in the past.
Attorney Clarissa Fernandez Pratt has practiced for over 10 years and has tried over 75 jury cases in that time. She represents clients on charges of violent offenses throughout San Antonio and Bexar County, as well as Zapata. Clarissa is a dedicated professional who gives each client the one-on-one service they deserve while fiercely defending their legal rights.
Understanding Homicide Charges
There are more homicide charges under Texas law than most people think. Each offense has its own set of unique elements that the prosecution must prove. The main charges include:
- Capital murder – As the most serious of murder charges, you will only face this charge under certain circumstances. For example, it may apply if you killed someone during a burglary, rape or aggravated robbery. It can also include killing a child under 10, killing a police officer and murder for hire. Prosecutors often seek the death penalty in these cases.
- First-degree murder – This is the intentional killing of another person, often shown through premeditation or planning the murder in advance. This is a first-degree felony, carrying a penalty of five years to life in prison.
- Second- and third-degree murder – When you intend to cause bodily injury to someone, and they die as a result, you could face second-degree murder, even if your original intent was not to kill them. You may face third-degree murder if someone died while you were committing another felony offense. These felony charges usually carry a penalty of between two and 20 years in prison.
- Manslaughter – Unfortunately, accidents can result in death. If law enforcement alleges that you acted in such a reckless way that you caused someone’s death, you could face either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter charges. Manslaughter charges are usually second-degree felonies with a prison term from two to 20 years and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Criminally negligent homicide – Similar to manslaughter, you can face charges even if you did not intend to cause a death as long as the prosecutor can show that you should have known your actions could lead to someone’s serious injury or death. For example, law enforcement could charge you with reckless driving that led to a fatal accident. The penalties run from 180 days in jail to two years.
- Intoxication manslaughter – In Texas, if you drive while intoxicated (DWI) and cause a fatal accident, you could face intoxication manslaughter charges. This second-degree felony carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Whatever charges you face, Clarissa will help you understand your situation and any options you have. She will begin building your defense case on day one, examining issues such as your intent, whether you acted in self-defense or whether law enforcement violated your rights during their investigation.
Start Building Your Defense Today
You have no time to waste. The sooner you begin building your defense, the stronger the case you will have. To schedule a free initial consultation with Clarissa, please contact her online or call the San Antonio office at 210-417-4590 or the Zapata office at 956-338-0101. Se habla español.