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Important First Steps When Facing Manslaughter Charges

 Posted on June 14,2024 in Criminal Defense

Cooke County criminal defense lawyerFacing manslaughter charges can be a terrifying experience. The potential consequences are severe, and the legal process is not easy to understand. However, by taking the right steps from the very beginning, you can possibly improve your chances of achieving a favorable outcome. A Texas lawyer can discuss the actions you should take.

Find Out the Specific Charges Against You

Manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Texas, carrying a potential prison sentence of two to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. You must understand the specific allegations against you and the circumstances that led to the charges. In Texas, manslaughter is defined as recklessly causing the death of another person. This means that the prosecution must prove that your actions were reckless and directly led to the individual’s death.

Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent

One of the most important steps you can take when facing manslaughter charges is to exercise your right to remain silent. It is natural to want to explain your side of the story or defend yourself, but anything you say to law enforcement can be used against you in court. Politely inform the police that you wish to remain silent and that you would like to speak with an attorney. Remember, you have the right to protect yourself; staying silent is often the wisest choice.

Be Honest with Your Lawyer

Once you hire a criminal defense attorney, be fully open about the events that led to the charges. The attorney-client privilege protects your conversations so that you can speak freely without fear of your information being disclosed. Your lawyer needs to know all the facts to provide you with the best possible defense. Withholding information or being dishonest can severely harm your case.

Gather Evidence and Witnesses

Your attorney will work diligently to gather evidence and identify potential witnesses who can support your defense. If you have any information that could be helpful, such as text messages, emails, or witness contact information, provide it to your lawyer promptly. The legal team will use this information to build a strong case on your behalf and challenge the prosecution’s evidence.

Prepare for Court Appearances

As your case progresses, you need to attend various court hearings and appearances. Your attorney will guide you through each step of the process and ensure you are well-prepared. Dress appropriately for court, be punctual, and always follow your lawyer’s advice. Remember that your behavior and demeanor in court can impact how the judge and jury perceive you.

Consider Plea Bargains Carefully

In some cases, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain, which involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. While accepting a plea deal may be tempting, you must carefully consider the long-term consequences with your attorney. This is important to weigh the pros and cons and determine whether a plea bargain is in your best interest.

Contact a Cooke County, TX Criminal Defense Attorney

Facing manslaughter charges is undeniably stressful, but remember that you have rights and options. By following these important first steps and working with a Denton County, TX criminal defense lawyer, you can confidently get through this challenging time. Call Magaña & Van Dyke at 940-382-1976 for a free consultation.

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