Are You Charged with Murder or Homicide?
Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C., Criminal Defense Law Firm
Texas Criminal Defense Attorneys and Murder Lawyer and Homicide Lawyer
Since 1995 criminal defense trial attorney Paul Looney has litigated
60 criminal jury trials with zero convictions
What are Murder and Homicide?
While murder and homicide are both used to describe the act of killing another human being; the circumstances surrounding the charges are different. Homicide is the killing of another human being, while murder requires the intent to kill another human being. Homicide can be used to describe any death where another person is at fault, but there are mitigating circumstances that can influence the charge of homicide.
Murder is almost ALWAYS A CRIME
Murder requires the intent to kill another human being. Even if the intent was to kill a specific person and instead another person was killed, the intent to kill another human being remains. Therefore, unless mitigating circumstances exist, authorities will apply the charge of murder to the case.
The United States and Texas allow for conditions that “affect the balance of the mind” to be regarded as mitigating circumstances. This means that a person may be found guilty of “manslaughter” on the basis of “diminished responsibilty” rather than murder, if it can be proved the killer suffered from a condition affecting his or her judgement at the time of the murder. Such circumstances include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and medication side-effects.
The United States and Texas consider certain circumstances as enhancements or aggravating. These circumstances include:
- Murder of a police officer, judge, fireman, or witness to a crime
- Murder of a pregnant woman
- Crime committed for pay or other reward
- Exceptional brutality or cruelty
- Felony murder rule
The felony murder rule broadens the crime of murder in two ways. First, when an offender kills accidentally or without specific intent to kill during the commission of a felony, the offender can be charged with murder. Second, it makes any participant in such a felony criminally liable for any deaths that occur during or in the furtherance of that felony.
Homicide is NOT ALWAYS A CRIME
Homicide is, also, used to describe the act of killing another human being. The primary difference between murder and homicide relies upon intent.
Types of Homicide
- Justifiable Homicide
- The concept of justifiable homicide stands on the dividing line between an excuse, justification and an exculpation. It differs from other forms of homicide in that, due to certain circumstances, the homicide is justified as preventing greater harm to innocents. A homicide can only be justified if there is sufficient evidence to suggest that it was reasonable to believe that the offending party posed an imminent threat to the life or well being of another.
- State-sanctioned Homicide
- Homicides conducted by the state, as in the execution of the death penalty and war.
- Criminal Homicide
- Criminal homicide takes several forms and includes certain unintential killings. Criminal homicide can be classified as murder or manslaughter depending upon the state of mind of the defendant and statutes defining the crime.
Possible Defenses for Murder and Homicide
- Defense of self, home, family, or another innocent person
- Insufficient evidence
- Provable innocence
- Battered spouse
Are you looking for a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Call us today (281) 597-8818 in Houston or (979) 826-8484 in Hempstead.
We are Criminal Lawyers Near 77079 and Criminal Lawyers Near 77445.
When you need a Texas Murder Lawyer or Texas Homicide Lawyer, contact
Looney, Smith & Conrad, P.C. at 281-597-8818. Text Us: 405-388-6191.
Our experienced Texas Murder Attorneys and Texas Homicide Attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a
free, no-obligation case evaluation.
We serve Houston, the State of Texas and the entire United States.