I’m Robert Fickman, a criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas. Over the past 33 years I have defended many people charged with homicide, ranging from people charged with murder, to people charged with manslaughter or negligent homicide.
In 2007 I won a highly publicized case involving a bus driver, State v. Cook. In this case a school bus driver accidentally hit and killed a young girl when she got in a blind spot. At various times, he was charged with murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. After a year of fighting, we went to trial on the manslaughter charge, and obtained a not-guilty verdict from the jury.
Many of the homicide cases I handle involve clients who have been charged with manslaughter or negligent homicide. The Harris County District Attorney’s office now has a section that specifically investigates deaths caused by vehicular accidents. Too often, the state takes a tragic accident and charges someone with a crime. You may find yourself in this awful situation.
The people who seem most likely to be charged with negligent or vehicular homicide as a result of an accident are commercial drivers including truck drivers and bus drivers. Every day drivers are also not safe from such charges.
In my opinion, to develop a strong defense you must first recognize the realities of our criminal justice system. In my opinion, in reality the presumption of innocence does not exist. In this country, anyone accused of a serious crime is presumed guilty by the public. You must be prepared to prove your innocence to stand a chance. As your lawyer, my job is to do my best to develop a strong defense to prove your innocence. As your lawyer my job is to do my best to win your case by proving your innocence.
To develop a successful defense, I may hire experts to reconstruct the accident and fully evaluate how it happened. The state’s evaluation is often one-sided and incorrect. They start with the conclusion that the accused was negligent or reckless and try to make the facts fit that conclusion. As your lawyer, I will do everything in my power to keep you from being convicted of a crime for what was in reality an honest accident.