Texas is one of the states that has the Felony Murder Rule, sometimes known as “the law of parties.” This law states a person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if the circumstance meets a certain number of different criteria.
Texas Penal Code § 7.02 describes the Felony Murder Rule applies in the following circumstances:
- A person acts with the kind of culpability required for the offense by causing or aiding an innocent or nonresponsible person to engage in conduct prohibited by the definition of the crime
- A person acts with intent to promote or assist the commission of the crime by soliciting, encouraging, directing, aiding, or attempting to help the person committing the offense
- A person has the legal duty to prevent the commission of the offense
Likewise, if a group of people intends to commit a felony and one among the group commits another felony along the way, the entire group could be found guilty of the second felony as well as the first.
The Felony Murder Rule doesn’t only apply to murders, however; it applies to any felony crime. For example, if you and a friend were shopping, and you saw your friend swap the price tag on two items, you could be implicated with shoplifting in addition to your friend even though you never touched the items.
Remember, if a prosecutor is trying to pin you for murder because you were present with the offender at the time of the crime, you don’t have to have been a significant participant in the offense to be convicted.
If you’re being accused of murder when you never participated in the act, make sure to talk to an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Jed Silverman can offer you years of legal experience and dedication to pursuing the best possible outcome for our clients. Our firm only focuses on criminal defense, so we won’t split our time between different types of law. Let us use our skill and knowledge on your behalf.
Contact us at (713) 597-2221 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.