Drug crimes often lead to other crimes, many involving violence. This was illustrated in a recent case involving a drug deal that took place in a Houston Wells Fargo parking lot.
According to the Houston Police Department, a male was found in the parking lot with what appeared to be gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead at the scene. Further investigation of the incident revealed that the shooting may have been the result of a drug transaction that went wrong.
Two of the alleged suspects apparently fled the scene, although one was later located at a hospital. The Houston Police Department Chief made a statement advising young people to make better choices and to avoid getting involved in criminal activity.
Situations like this could lead to a felony murder charge if the drug crimes involved were felonies. A felony murder charge is different from a regular murder charge.
Under Texas law, if you commit or attempt to commit a felony and cause the death of someone else, you could be charged with felony murder. You can be charged with felony murder even if you had no intention to kill anyone.
For example, if you were the getaway driver during a robbery and while driving away from the robbery scene you hit and killed a pedestrian, may find yourself facing a felony murder charge.
Felony murder is a serious crime in Texas. It is a first-degree felony with penalties involving a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
Defenses to felony murder
There are some defenses to felony murder that may be available. One is that the underlying felony did not occur. Felony murder naturally requires that a felony take place. If you can prove there was no felony, there can be no felony murder.
Another potential defense is that the killing did not happen during the felony. Perhaps it happened before or after the actual felony.
A successful defense to a felony murder charge requires a thorough examination of the circumstances. It is important to act quickly to see if any defenses are available to you.