Criminal negligence is conduct that “grossly deviates” from an ordinary person’s normal and reasonable standards. In fact, there is no reckless conduct or intent to do harm; instead, the person shows a complete disregard or indifference for human life. In the State of Texas, criminal negligence can result in a charge of homicide. 

What is “Homicide”?

Homicide is the killing of another human being and it includes all intentional and non-intentional killings. 

How is "Criminally Negligent Homicide" Defined in Texas?

In Texas, criminally negligent homicide is defined as the death of another person, by an individual who was aware of the substantial risk of the circumstances, yet failed to appreciate the degree of severity. 

Does Texas Require Intent to Charge Me with Negligent Homicide?

No. Negligent homicide doesn’t require intent. Instead, the law only needs a defendant to fall far below the standard of care which led to the victim’s death. 

What is the Punishment for a Criminally Negligent Homicide Charge?

A criminally negligent homicide conviction is a “state jail felony.” It’s punishable by 180 days to 2 years in prison and fine of up to $10,000.

Are There Any Defenses for Criminally Negligent Homicide?

Yes. There are specific defenses available, depending on the surrounding circumstances of the defendant’s case. Some common defenses include: 

  • The victim did not die due to direct result of the defendant’s negligence.
  • The defendant had no legal duty to the victim, so they had no obligation to the victim and cannot be criminally liable for the homicide.
  • The defendant was unaware of the risks created that led to the victim’s death.

Should I Talk to an Attorney about My Criminally Negligent Homicide Case?

Yes. Contact a Texas criminal lawyer to find how to fight this charge.