Manslaughter is listed as one of the 4 forms of criminal homicide found under §19.01 of the Texas Penal Code. A criminal homicide occurs when an individual intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causes the death of another individual.

Manslaughter, as per §19.05 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a person causes the death of an individual by reckless action (or stupidity in some cases). Manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide are the two criminal homicide charges which can be committed without the intention of causing death - Manslaughter occurs out of recklessness (failing to consider the consequences of one’s actions, or knowing the consequences but doing the action anyways), while criminally negligent homicide occurs out of an individual’s lack of due diligence or lack of precautions. Manslaughter charges might arise from incidents like throwing rocks at passing cars, while criminally negligent homicide charges may arise from situations resembling leaving a baby in a hot parked car.

Manslaughter is a second-degree felony in the State of Texas and carries with it a prison term of 2-20 years and a fine up to $10,000.

Punishment Range

Severity of Crime

Second Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 20 years or less than two years
  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

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