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Bexar County Criminal Defense Attorney Brad Thornton


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  2. Former Prosecutor

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© 2023 by Thornton Criminal Defense, PLLC. 

Atascosa County Criminal Defense Attorney

San Antonio Office:

111 Soledad, Suite 401

San Antonio, Texas 78205

Tel: 210-439-5627

Atascosa Office:

216 N Bryant St

Pleasanton, Texas 78064








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.

Murder Defense Attorney in San Antonio, Texas


Texas Penal Code § 19.02 - Murder

Less than .008% of lawyers are Board Certified in Criminal Law. Click below to find out what that means and why hiring a Board Certified attorney is the only was to make sure you are getting a lawyer with the experience to handle your case.

Defense Attorney for Murder in San Antonio, Texas

Homicide is the act of killing another person, and it is a crime that is punishable under the law. In the state of Texas, there are four different types of homicide that are recognized under the penal code: murder, capital murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.

  1. Murder: Under Texas law, murder is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing the death of another person. Murder is punishable as a first-degree felony.

  2. Capital Murder: Capital murder is a type of murder that is punishable by the death penalty. In Texas, there are several circumstances that can qualify a murder as capital murder, such as killing a law enforcement officer, killing more than one person in a single criminal transaction, or killing a witness to prevent them from testifying in a criminal case.

  3. Manslaughter: Manslaughter is a type of homicide that is committed. It is less serious than murder, and it is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

  4. Criminally Negligent Homicide: Criminally negligent homicide is a type of homicide that is committed through criminal negligence. It is punishable by up to 2 years in prison.

It is important to note that the severity of the punishment for each type of homicide depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the offender's criminal history. If you have been charged with any type of homicide in Texas, it is crucial that you seek legal representation as soon as possible to protect your rights and defend yourself against the charges.

Defenses to Murder in Texas

There are several defenses that a person charged with murder in Texas may raise to try to avoid a conviction. Some of the most successful defenses to murder include:

  1. Self-defense: Self-defense is a common defense to murder charges in Texas. To claim self-defense, the defendant must show that they believed that they were in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death and that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent the harm.

  2. Defense of others: Like self-defense, a person may claim that they were defending another person from harm when they killed the victim.

  3. Lack of intent: To be convicted of murder in Texas, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim. If the defendant can show that they did not have the required intent, they may be able to avoid a murder conviction, although they may also be convicted on a lesser charge such as manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.

  4. Insanity: If the defendant was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the crime, they may be able to use the insanity defense to avoid a murder conviction. To use this defense, the defendant must show that they did not understand the nature of their actions or that they were unable to distinguish right from wrong.

It is important to note that these defenses may not be successful in every case, and the success of a defense will depend on the specific facts of the case and the evidence that is available. If you have been charged with murder in Texas, it is essential that you seek legal representation as soon as possible to explore your defense options and protect your rights.

Punishment Ranges

Level of Offense

Potential Incarceration

Potential Fine

First-degree Felony

Second-degree Felony

Third-degree Felony

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

Punishment for Murder in Texas

In Texas, Murder is classified as a first-degree felony and is punishable by up a minimum of five years to 99 years of life in prison. Because it is listed in Section 42A.054 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a person convicted of murder will not become eligible for parole until double the time for most other offenses. Also, probation is never available as an option from the judge or jury once you have been convicted of murder.

Sudden Passion Defense to Murder in Texas

Sudden passion is a legal defense to murder that is raised at the punishment phase of trial after a conviction.  This defense reduces the punishment range to that equivalent to manslaughter, which is 2 to 20 years in prison. This is still high but way better than facing a potential life sentence.

To raise the defense of sudden passion, the defendant must show that they acted in the heat of the moment in response to sudden provocation. This means that the defendant must have been provoked by the victim in some way and that the provocation caused the defendant to lose control and act impulsively.

To be successful, the defense of sudden passion must show that the defendant's actions were the result of the sudden provocation and that they were not premeditated or planned in advance. If the defense can show this, the range of punishment may be reduced.

It is important to note that the defense of sudden passion is not available in all cases, and it is not a complete defense to the charge of murder.

Attorney Brad Thornton

If you have been charged with murder in the state of Texas, it is essential that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help you understand the charges that you are facing and the potential consequences that you may be facing, and they can work with you to develop a defense strategy that is tailored to your specific case.

Call Attorney Brad Thornton for a free consultation. Brad Thornton is a board-certified criminal defense attorney who has a wealth of experience in the criminal justice system.

There are several reasons why you should consider calling Brad Thornton for a free consultation if you have been charged with murder in Texas.

First, as a former chief prosecutor, he has a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and knows how to anticipate the tactics that the prosecution may use against you. This can be a valuable asset in building a strong defense. During his time as a chief prosecutor he has tried numerous cases, including several high-profile murder trials.

Second, Brad Thornton is a highly skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who has a deep understanding of the law and knows how to navigate the criminal justice system. He has the knowledge and experience necessary to defend you against the charges that you are facing.

Finally, Brad Thornton is a compassionate and understanding attorney who truly cares about his clients. He knows that being charged with murder is a stressful and overwhelming experience, and he is committed to doing everything he can to help you through this difficult time. He will work closely with you to understand your situation and to develop a defense strategy that is tailored to your specific needs.


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.  

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Crimes & Criminal Matters


Daryl M.

Elmendorf, Texas

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.

Brian F. 

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.

Stephanie S.

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!

Garry T.

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.