Denton Murder Defense Attorney
Representation for Murder Charges in Texas
In Texas, murder is one of the most serious offenses and is punishable by life in prison or death. If you've been accused of this crime, your situation might seem hopeless, as the State will use its extensive resources to obtain a conviction. However, there is hope, and you may be able to work toward an optimal result, such as getting charges dropped or the case dismissed. But doing so requires the help of a Denton murder defense attorney who knows the law and how to raise and present compelling defenses.
At Marsala Law Group, we understand that, if you've been charged with murder, your life may be on the line. That is why we take such cases seriously. Our strategic approach begins by thoroughly assessing your circumstances, listening to your side of the story, and getting the full picture of the situation. From there, we examine all evidence the State has regarding your case, looking for weaknesses and areas to strengthen your defense. We truly care about the outcome of your case, and we will be diligent as we guide you through the process. From beginning to conclusion, we'll be by your side, delivering the sound legal advice you need.
How Texas Defines Murder
Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code enumerates two types of the unlawful killing of another: murder and capital murder.
Murder is a criminal homicide offense that occurs when a person:
- Intentionally or knowingly takes another's life;
- Engages in dangerous conduct intending to seriously injure someone and causes their death; or
- During the commission or attempted commission of a felony (or while fleeing from the scene of the offense), engages in a dangerous act and causes the death of another
What Does Capital Murder Mean in Texas?
Capital murder is the killing of another occurring under specific circumstances. These include when:
- The victim was a police officer or firefighter engaged in their lawful duties;
The murder is intentionally committed during any of the following offenses:
- Aggravated sexual assault,
- Obstruction or retaliation, or
- Terroristic threat;
- The murder was committed in exchange for money;
- The murder was committed when the person was escaping a correctional facility;
- The murder was committed while the alleged actor was incarcerated;
- The alleged offender murdered more than 1 person either during the same crime or during different but related offenses;
- The alleged victim was under 15 years of age;
- The alleged victim was a judge or justice and the murder was committed in retaliation for their service
Penalties for Murder in Texas
Both murder and capital murder carry severe punishments.
Murder is a first-degree felony and is penalized by:
- Between 5 and 99 years or life in prison, and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000
Capital murder is a capital felony. A conviction carries a term of imprisonment of life without parole or the death sentence.
Possible Defenses Against Murder Charges in Texas
Depending on the circumstances, defendants charged with murder may be able to raise certain defenses in their cases. One possible way to challenge such accusations is by proving that the defendant acted in self-defense or in defense of another.
For the self-defense challenge to apply, the defendant must have acted with deadly force if they reasonably believed such action was warranted and justified under the circumstances. That means in the same or a similar situation, a reasonable person would have felt immediately threatened and determined that deadly force was called for.
Important limitations to the self-defense claim exist, including:
- The defendant cannot be the aggressor. For instance, if Rosie killed Berty, she cannot claim her actions were in self-defense if she were the initial attacker, even if Berty responded with violence.
- The use of force cannot have happened after a verbal provocation. This means a person cannot use deadly force on someone who insulted them.
- The force used must be proportionate to the initial attack. For example, if Berty punched Rosie, Rosie cannot stab Berty multiple times and say her actions were in self-defense.
When is Deadly Force Justified in Texas?
Additionally, under Texas Penal Code § 9.32, deadly force is only justified in certain circumstances, including when:
- It’s necessary to protect someone against another person’s unlawful use of deadly force;
It’s used to prevent the commission of:
- Aggravated kidnapping;
- Sexual assault;
- Aggravated sexual assault;
- Robbery; or
- Aggravated robbery
Leveraging Our Knowledge and Skills to Defend You
If you’ve been charged with murder in Denton County, Marsala Law Group is here to provide the defense you need. We have extensive experience protecting the rights of those accused of serious offenses, and we will do everything in our legal power to seek a just result in your case.
A.G. – Denton Misdemeanor Assault Family Violence Not Guilty
State presented seven eye-witnesses to dispute our claim of self-defense.
A.P.G. – Denton Aggravated Sex Assault of Child & 3 Counts of Indecency with a Child Not Guilty - Jury Trial
C.D. – Denton Felony Violation of Protective Order Case Dismissed
Dismissed and we are now suing the arresting agency.
Dr. J.B. – DWI with Multiple Drug Charges Cases Dismissed
All drug cases dismissed as well as a subsequent DWI while the client was on Probation.
Dr. R.C. – Tarrant DWI Not Guilty
E.D.M. Denton Felony Assault with Priors Reduced to Misdemeanor Time-Served
Charge reduced; client served one day in jail.
E.H. – Denton Misdemeanor Assault Family Violence Case Dismissed
H.R. – Denton Felony Aggravated Assault Not Guilty
Not guilty verdict despite 3rd party-eye witness who testified my client went out to his car and grabbed a tire iron and chased after the victim and beat him repeatedly over the head. This is self-defense at it's finest.
J.G. - Denton Felony Drug Charge Case Dismissed
Dismissed due to invalid search.
J.P. – Dallas Felony Indecent Exposure Case Dismissed
Original offer was 5 years in prison. After our investigation prior to trial, we discovered enough inconsistencies to convince the DA to dismiss!
Honest Legal Counsel
We firmly believe honesty is the best policy. Our team will provide you with transparent updates and realistic outcomes.
Personalized Attention & Service
Each case and each client is different. We provide focused representation that is specific to your case and your needs.
Available 24/7 for You
Our lead attorney is personally available to each and every client. We are there for you day or night.
We Care About the Outcome
We truly care about each and every client. We understand this is a vulnerable time in your life and we are committed to being with you every step of the way.