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While both murder and manslaughter charges are very severe and have harsh felony sentences, manslaughter is the less significant punished of the two. A homicide is termed "manslaughter", when the crime of killing a human being without malice aforethought, or otherwise in circumstances not amounting to murder.


There are 3 types of Manslaughter:


  • Voluntary manslaughter is defined as an intentional killing that is not motivated by maliciousness. This implies that someone who kills another individual in the middle of a fight or in the heat of a moment may be prosecuted with voluntary manslaughter rather than murder since they did not intend to commit the act. 


An individual detecting their spouse cheating on them is a typical case of voluntary manslaughter. If the  individual murdered their spouse or the cheater as soon as they found out, it may be considered voluntary manslaughter. It is likely that they will be charged with murder if they consider killing the other person and scheme to do so, then carry out their plan weeks later.



  • Involuntary manslaughter can be charged if a person acts recklessly or carelessly, and a person dies as a result. For example, involuntary manslaughter may happen if a person discharged a handgun but did not aim it at anybody or plan to hurt anyone, but the bullet ricocheted and killed someone. A conviction for this offense carries a sentence of two, three, or four years in prison, plus any sentencing enhancements.



  • Vehicular manslaughter occurs when a careless action behind the wheel of a vehicle takes the life of someone else. For example, if you were street racing, lost control, and caused a crash, you might face vehicular manslaughter charges if someone died in the accident.

Murder is a felony charge when an individual commits the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. This charge can result in life in prison without parole.



  • 1st Degree Murder:

First-degree murder is the most severe form of murder defined in the US legal system. In these cases, the murder is committed with malice aforethought. In other words, the crime was committed with the intent to cause harm to and kill the victim with no regard for human life.


  • 2nd Degree Murder

Second-degree murder is where the unlawful killing of another human being was carried out without any form of planning or premeditation. The defendant may have intended to cause harm but did not necessarily intend to kill. However, the crime must still be carried out with malice aforethought for it to be classified as second-degree.


  • Capital

Capital Murder is the most serious crime in the state of Texas. It is the state’s only offense punishable by death. The state will charge you with Capital Murder if the prosecuting attorneys believe you murdered someone under one of the circumstances that is described by the Capital Murder statute. Learn more detailed information about the Capital Murder offense below.

(A) A person commits an offense if the person commits murder as defined under Section 19.02(b)(1) and:


(1) the person murders a peace officer or fireman who is acting in the lawful discharge of an official duty and who the person knows is a peace officer or fireman;


(2) the person intentionally commits the murder in the course of committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, burglary, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, obstruction or retaliation, or terroristic threat under Section 22.07(a)(1), (3), (4), (5), or (6);


(3) the person commits the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration or employs another to commit the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration;


(4) the person commits the murder while escaping or attempting to escape from a penal institution;


(5) the person, while incarcerated in a penal institution, murders another:


(A) who is employed in the operation of the penal institution; or


(B) with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination;


(6) the person:


(A) while incarcerated for an offense under this section or Section 19.02, murders another; or


(B) while serving a sentence of life imprisonment or a term of 99 years for an offense under Section 20.04, 22.021, or 29.03, murders another;


(7) the person murders more than one person:


(A) during the same criminal transaction; or


(B) during different criminal transactions but the murders are committed pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct;


(8) the person murders an individual under 10 years of age; or


(9) [the person murders an individual 10 years of age or older but younger than 15 years of age; or]


(10) the person murders another person in retaliation for or on account of the service or status of the other person as a judge or justice of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of appeals, a district court, a criminal district court, a constitutional county court, a statutory county court, a justice court, or a municipal court.

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