When you hear the terms manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, it may be hard to distinguish between them. We Asked a Dallas homicide defense Lawyer Mick Mickelsen to help us understand.
Under Texas law, there are four types of criminal homicide: capital murder, murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.
Both manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide involve the death of another person with no intent to kill on the part of the alleged offender. To most people with little exposure to the legal system, the two offenses may seem interchangeable.
Manslaughter, however, as a second-degree felony, carries much harsher penalties than criminally negligent homicide, which is a state jail felony. Those accused of criminal homicide in Texas are often left wondering which offense they will be charged with, and those charged often wonder why they have been charged with one and not the other.
In this article, we provide some clarity on the difference between manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide based on our combined decades of experience defending violent crimes in Texas courts.
Criminally Negligent Homicide vs Manslaughter in Texas
The most simplified differentiation between criminally negligent homicide and manslaughter under Texas law is whether the victim’s death was caused by criminal negligence or recklessness on the part of the alleged offender.