Under Texas law, voluntary manslaughter occurs when, under emotional stress or insanity, the offender kills a person without premeditation. The difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter is that in involuntary manslaughter a person accidentally caused harm by being negligent or reckless, which resulted in death. In voluntary manslaughter, a person intended to cause harm in the heat of passion, but did not intend to kill.
Voluntary manslaughter is a less severe charge than murder. Sometimes people who are charged with voluntary manslaughter plead insanity, or they claim that they were under a great amount of emotional stress at the time of the incident. The important point that separates a voluntary manslaughter charge from a murder charge is evidence that you “were not yourself” when you committed the crime. For one reason or another, you behaved in a way that was uncharacteristic and acted on impulse or out of passion.
To avoid a murder charge, it is important to provide evidence of the extraordinary circumstances that led to the killing. A criminal defense lawyer with experience in manslaughter cases can help you collect evidence, including testimony from witnesses, which helps your defense. Defendants in manslaughter cases often face an aggressive and overzealous prosecution, so it is important to have a good criminal defense attorney who will fight hard to defend your case and protect your rights in court.
Don't enter the courtroom feeling unprepared to defend your case. For sound legal advice and assistance, contact aggressive, experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer Ian Inglis today at 512-472-1950.
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