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San Antonio Murder Defense Lawyers
Serious Defense for Severe Criminal Charges
Being accused of willfully taking another’s life, be it an arrest for murder, manslaughter, or homicide, can lead to the harshest penalties a defendant can face. The prison sentence alone can be up to 99 years, and, in certain circumstances, convictions may even result in the death penalty.
If you have been charged with murder, act quickly to retain the help of our San Antonio murder defense attorneys. You may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, or you may have been acting out of self-defense, and it is important that your side of the story is told to the judge and jury. Trust The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC to fight for your rights.
The Definition & Degrees of Murder in Texas
In the state of Texas, murder has been defined as willfully and knowledgeably causing another person’s death. Within that definition is a lot of room for nuance – for example, an altercation may have gotten out of control, or perhaps the use of drugs or alcohol left the accused without control of his or her full best judgment.
Texas also delineates two primary degrees of murder and both are felonies. The penalties for these two degrees include:
- First-degree murder – A conviction generally results in a fine of up to $10,000, along with serving the rest of one’s life in prison
- Second-degree murder – A conviction could result in a fine of up to $10,000, along with serving up to 20 years in prison
The way that these two classifications are distinguished is whether or not it can be proven that the perpetrator willfully and maliciously intended on taking the victim’s life, or if the crime occurred in the moment from a sudden burst of passion.
Defense Against Murder Charges
While it is understandable why Texas laws come down so stringently on these kinds of crimes, it is important to remember that many of these cases are not so clearly defined. Sometimes a horrible accident occurred, which is tragic but cannot be viewed as murder. Alternatively, there might have been a case of mistaken identity, especially if the environment was dark or difficult to see. Moreover, the case might have been one of self-defense, where the alleged victim was actually the perpetrator, and the defendant was only trying to save their own lives.
Murder investigations require the help of a lawyer who is highly experienced at analyzing complicated exhibits from forensic and scientific experts, in addition to examining autopsies, ballistic tests, and even blood splatter patterns. Whatever the case, you can be sure that our dedicated San Antonio murder defense attorneys are ready to aggressively defend you, building a strong criminal defense strategy on your behalf.