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San Antonio Office:
111 Soledad, Suite 401
San Antonio, Texas 78205
216 N Bryant St
Pleasanton, Texas 78064
FORMER CHIEF PROSECUTOR
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BOARD CERTIFIED IN CRIMINAL LAW
OVER A DECADE OF EXPERIENCE IN CRIMINAL LAW
WHY HIRE THORNTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE?
Attorney Brad Thornton is a highly experienced and Board-Certified criminal defense lawyer. With his background as a former Chief Prosecutor, he has a unique understanding of the criminal justice system and is able to provide comprehensive and effective representation to his clients. He is also deeply committed to ensuring that all individuals receive fair treatment in court, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Brad Thornton is dedicated to helping his clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case, whether it is in San Antonio or elsewhere in South Texas. He recognizes the stress and anxiety that can come with being accused of a crime, and approaches his clients with compassion while keeping them informed at every step of the process. His knowledge and experience make him a strong advocate for his clients.
Texas Penal Code § 19.04 - MANSLAUGHTER
Attorney for Manslaughter in San Antonio, Texas
In Texas, the criminal offense of manslaughter is defined in Section 19.04 of the Texas Penal Code. According to this section, a person commits the offense of manslaughter if they recklessly cause the death of an individual. This could include things like texting while driving or engaging in other forms of distracted driving, or failing to properly care for a child or dependent.
Texas does not have a distinction between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, as some states do. Instead, Texas law treats all cases of manslaughter as a single offense. The specific punishment for a conviction will depend on the circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history; but manslaughter is a second-degree felony and is punishable by a prison term of 2 to 20 years.
Overall, the offense of manslaughter in Texas is a serious criminal charge that can carry significant penalties, including prison time and a permanent criminal record. If you have been charged with manslaughter in Texas, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and to explore all of your legal options.
Vehicle Fatalities Prosecuted as Manslaughter
In Texas, it is possible to prosecute a person for manslaughter in connection with a motor vehicle fatality. However, there are a number of issues that can arise when prosecuting a motor vehicle fatality as manslaughter.
One issue is the difficulty of proving intent. In order to be convicted of manslaughter, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant acted reckless disregard for human life. This can be difficult to establish in the context of a motor vehicle accident, because it can be difficult to say for sure what caused the crash.
This brings us to the role of accident reconstruction experts. In many cases, accident reconstruction experts may be called upon to testify about the circumstances of the accident and to provide an opinion about the cause of the accident. However, there can be disagreement among experts about the cause of an accident, which can make it difficult for the prosecution to establish liability.
Another issue is the role of negligence. In many motor vehicle fatalities, the defendant may have been negligent in their actions, but this alone may not be sufficient to establish criminal liability. In order to be convicted of manslaughter, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant's actions were reckless and not merely negligent.
In this case, the prosecution may choose to charge the defendant with the lesser included offense of criminally negligent homicide. This offense involves causing the death of another person through criminal negligence, which is defined as failing to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur. Criminally negligent homicide is a state jail felony, punishable by a prison term of 180 days to 2 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Overall, prosecuting a motor vehicle fatality as manslaughter in Texas can be a complex and challenging task. It is important for the prosecution to be able to establish all of the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, including intent and recklessness, in order to secure a conviction. In cases where these elements are difficult to prove, the prosecution may choose to charge the defendant with the lesser included offense of criminally negligent homicide.
Defenses to Manslaughter
There are several potential defenses to a charge of manslaughter in Texas. Some of the most common defenses include:
Self-defense: A person may claim self-defense if they can show that they acted in order to protect themselves from an imminent threat of bodily harm or death. In order to successfully claim self-defense, a person must have had a reasonable belief that they were in danger and that their actions were necessary to prevent harm to themselves.
Defense of others: A person may claim defense of others if they can show that they acted in order to protect someone else from an imminent threat of bodily harm or death. As with self-defense, the person claiming defense of others must have had a reasonable belief that the other person was in danger and that their actions were necessary to prevent harm.
Defense of property: A person may claim defense of property if they can show that they acted in order to protect their property from imminent harm or destruction. The person claiming defense of property must have had a reasonable belief that their property was in danger and that their actions were necessary to prevent harm to the property.
Alibi: An alibi defense involves showing that the defendant was not present at the time and place of the offense. If the defendant can provide evidence that they were somewhere else, such as through witness testimony or records of their whereabouts, it may be difficult for the prosecution to establish their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Lack of intent: In order to be convicted of manslaughter, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant acted with the intent to cause harm or with reckless disregard for human life. If the defendant can show that they did not have this level of intent, they may be able to mount a defense against the charge.
It is important to note that these are just a few examples of potential defenses to a charge of manslaughter in Texas. The specific defenses available in each case will depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. If you have been charged with manslaughter, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options and develop a strategy for your defense.
Causation in Manslaughter Trials
Because of the reckless element in manslaughter, many time causation becomes a key issue in the case. In Texas, the concept of causation is addressed in Section 6.04 of the Texas Penal Code. This section states:
A person is criminally responsible if the result would not have occurred but for his conduct, operating either alone or concurrently with another cause, unless the concurrent cause was clearly sufficient to produce the result and the conduct of the actor clearly insufficient.
This is put more simply:
Accused’s conduct alone caused the death = Guilty
Accused’s conduct along with another factor caused the death = Guilty
Other factor alone causes the death = Not Guilty
It's important to note that the concept of causation is complex and can be difficulty to fully investigate and present to a jury. If you are facing criminal charges in Texas and causation is an issue in your case, Attorney Brad Thornton has handled many cases where causation was the key issue and would be happy to discuss your case during a free consultation.
Level of Offense
State Jail Felony
Class A Misdemeanor
Class B Misdemeanor
2 - 10 years in prison
180 days - 2 years in jail
Up to 1 year in jail
Up to 180 days in jail
2 - 20 years in prison
5 - 99 years in prison
Up to $10,000
Up to $10,000
Up to $10,000
Up to $10,000
Up to $4,000
Up to $2,000
Potential Punishment for Manslaughter
In Texas, the offense of manslaughter is generally classified as a second-degree felony. Under Texas law, a person convicted of a second-degree felony can be punished with a prison term of 2 to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
It's important to note that the specific punishment for a conviction of second-degree felony manslaughter will depend on the circumstances of the case and the defendant's criminal history. In some cases, a person may be eligible for probation instead of a prison term.
Probation is a court-ordered period of supervision that allows a person to remain in the community instead of serving a prison term. Probation can be granted in lieu of a prison term, or it can be imposed in addition to a prison term as a condition of release.
There are also several collateral consequences that can result from a conviction for second-degree felony manslaughter in Texas. These can include:
Loss of the right to vote: In Texas, a person convicted of a felony may lose their right to vote until they have completed their sentence and any required period of probation or parole.
Loss of the right to possess a firearm: Under federal law, a person convicted of a felony is generally prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Difficulty finding employment: A criminal record, especially a felony conviction, can make it difficult to find employment in certain fields.
Difficulty obtaining certain professional licenses: Some professional licenses, such as a law or medical license, may be denied to a person with a criminal record.
Overall, a conviction for second-degree felony manslaughter in Texas can have significant and long-lasting consequences. If you have been charged with this offense, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and to explore all of your legal options.
Attorney Brad Thornton
If you have been charged with manslaughter in San Antonio, Texas, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected and to explore all of your legal options. One attorney who you may want to consider contacting is Brad Thornton, a board-certified criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience handling cases involving manslaughter and other serious criminal charges.
One reason to consider calling Brad Thornton for a free consultation is that he is a former chief prosecutor. This means that he has a unique understanding of how prosecutors build their cases and what they are likely to focus on when trying to secure a conviction. This knowledge can be invaluable in developing a strong defense strategy for your case.
Another reason to consider calling Brad Thornton is that he is a board-certified criminal defense attorney. In Texas, a lawyer must pass a rigorous exam and meet other stringent requirements in order to become board-certified in criminal law. This certification is a testament to an attorney's expertise and experience in the field of criminal law.
Finally, Brad Thornton is based in San Antonio, Texas, which means that he is familiar with the local court system and the judges and prosecutors who will be handling your case. This can be an important advantage when it comes to negotiating plea bargains or preparing for trial.
Overall, if you have been charged with manslaughter in San Antonio, Texas, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Brad Thornton may be a good option to consider, given his experience as a former chief prosecutor and his status as a board-certified criminal defense attorney.
San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney Brad Thornton has spent years in court rooms fighting for justice. As a prosecutor, Brad was a leader on cases ranging from marijuana to murder from arrest to appeal. Who better to fight for your rights than someone who knows the "other side" and has tried the toughest of cases out there. Put his experience and knowledge to work for you.
If you need a criminal lawyer, Brad Thornton is an excellent choice. He is intelligent, trustworthy, and highly professional, with an amazing understanding of the law.
Choosing the right lawyer can shape the rest of your life, so make sure to make the right decision and choose Brad Thornton.
San Antonio, Texas
I have had the opportunity to know Brad both personally and professionally for a while now. As a fellow attorney, I am consistently impressed by his passion and innovative approach to legal issues. He is exceptionally intelligent and is always willing to go above and beyond for his clients. When I refer clients to Brad, I have full confidence that they will receive top-quality representation.
San Antonio, Texas
We recently faced a stressful family matter and turned to Brad for legal guidance. He was extremely compassionate and helped us understand our options and the legal process in an easy-to-follow way. We are thrilled with the outcome of our case and are grateful to Brad for his help. Thank you!
San Antonio, Texas
I cannot emphasize enough how understanding and compassionate Brad Thornton was during a difficult situation. He helped us navigate the legal aspects of our case and provided us with a clear understanding of our options. I highly recommend Brad Thornton for anyone in need of legal representation.