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Accidents happen. It’s a fact of life that people will die in car wrecks. Many things contribute to car wrecks, such as traffic, inexperienced drivers, wet roads, and distractions inside the car. In recent times, prosecutors across this great state have sought to criminalize accidents and charge someone with a felony offense if they are involved in an accident and another person dies. The charge of Criminally Negligent Homicide is a state jail felony punishable by confinement in a the State Jail Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a term of not less than 6 months and not more than 2 years and a fine of up to $10,000. For the State to convict a person of Criminally Negligent Homicide, they must prove that the person charged ought to be aware, but wasn’t, of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the death will occur.
If the State believes that the person charged was aware that his alleged conduct created a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the death will occur, then the State will likely charge the person with Manslaughter, which is a 2nd degree felony punishable by a term of confinement in prison for a term of not less than 2 years and not more than 20 years. Additionally, if the State alleged, and a jury agrees, that the motor vehicle that the person charged was driving when the accident occurred is a deadly weapon, then the accused would not be eligible for parole until 50% of the sentence has been served. It is still possible that a jury can recommend probation as long as the sentence given is less than 10 years confinement.
Dustan Neyland has years of experience handling Criminally Negligent Homicide cases as well as Manslaughter cases in Harris County, Montgomery County, and all across the State of Texas. If you have been accused of Criminally Negligent Homicide or Manslaughter anywhere in the State of Texas, contact us today to schedule a free in-person consultation at our office in Kingwood, TX, conveniently located within a short drive from Houston, TX and Conroe, TX.
Contact us at (281) 312-0155 to schedule a free consultation.