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Criminal charges

involuntary manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is a criminal offense defined as the unintentional killing (homicide) of another person as a result of criminal negligence, recklessness, or during the commission of a misdemeanor (driving while intoxicated), infraction (speeding), or a felony crime that was not inherently dangerous. Involuntary manslaughter is usually a felony offense and often includes significant jail or prison time as potential punishment.

Involuntary manslaughter laws vary from state to state and are generally located in a state’s statutes—often in the penal or criminal code.

In Texas, involuntary manslaughter is referred to as 'criminally negligent homicide' and is codified under Texas Penal Code Section 19.05. This offense occurs when an individual causes the death of another by criminal negligence, which means not intending to cause harm but acting with a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under similar circumstances. Criminally negligent homicide is considered a state jail felony in Texas, which can result in a sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The specific circumstances of the offense, such as the use of a vehicle (e.g., driving while intoxicated) or the commission of an unlawful act that is not a felony, can influence the severity of the charges and the penalties imposed upon conviction.

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