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Facing Attempted Murder Charges in Texas

Posted on June 11, 2024 in

One of the most serious types of criminal charges you can be accused of committing in Texas is attempted murder. Next to homicide, attempted murder carries some of the harshest criminal penalties. If you have been accused of attempted murder, your entire life could be affected.

The allegations against you are enough to have a significant impact on your life, even if you are ultimately acquitted. Here is more about when attempted murder charges might apply, the consequences that come with a conviction, and potential defenses you may be able to use to clear your name of your attempted murder charges.

When Can You Be Charged With Attempted Murder?

While homicide involves intentional, reckless, or negligent acts that caused the death of another person under Texas Penal Code Section 19.01, attempted homicide is slightly different. Here, if you willfully or intentionally caused physical bodily injury to the other with the intent of killing them, you could face criminal charges under Texas Penal Code Section 15.01. This does not only involve intentional misconduct but can also include a blatant disregard for someone else’s life.

Essentially, if you are convicted of criminal attempted murder, the jury has found beyond a reasonable doubt that you prepared to commit a murder but failed to carry out your plan to kill another person. Generally, attempted murder is tried as a second-degree felony, since murder is tried as a first-degree felony.

When an individual is charged with assault, charges could be elevated to attempted murder if aggravating factors are present. Examples of such mitigating factors include:

  • Use of a deadly weapon
  • Having an extensive criminal history
  • Previously harming the alleged victim
  • Reports of stalking or other crimes related to the murder attempt

Attempted Murder of a Spouse in Texas

You could also be charged with the attempted murder of a spouse. This statute is found under the criminal solicitation law under Texas Penal Code Section 15.03. If you try to hire someone to murder your spouse on your behalf, you could face criminal charges.

Attempted murder of a spouse could be considered a first-degree felony depending on the circumstances of your case. If convicted, you could face fines of up to $10,000 and spend as much as 99 years in a Texas state prison.

Possible Criminal Penalties for an Attempted Murder Conviction

The potential consequences that are associated with an attempted murder conviction include:

  • Fines as high as $10,000
  • A maximum of 20 years in a Texas state prison
  • Parole requirements upon your release

Here is How You Can Defend Yourself Against Attempted Murder Charges

It is essential to work with your Houston murder defense attorney to build a powerful defense strategy when you are accused of attempted murder. It will be important to consider whether your constitutional rights have been violated at any point in the investigative process. If your Miranda Rights were violated, evidence was obtained during an unlawful search and seizure, or law enforcement officials lacked probable cause, the charges against you could be reduced to a less serious event or dismissed altogether.

The prosecutor must prove the elements of the offense have been met to obtain a conviction. If the district attorney cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to kill the alleged victim in your case, then the charges against you should be reduced to aggravated assault under PENAL § 22.02 or even simple assault under PENAL § 22.01.