DEAR JEFF: What is the difference between murder and manslaughter? Signed, “Never Have Understood”

Dear “Never Have”: Both murder and manslaughter are considered types of criminal homicide. The difference lies in the mindset of the person committing the crime.

Murder is defined as “intentionally or knowingly causing the death” of another person, or intending to cause serious bodily injury and committing an act “clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual.”

Manslaughter, on the other hand, is recklessly causing the death of an individual. No intent to kill is required by the person committing the crime.

DEAR JEFF: Does the state charge a fee for setting up business entities? Thanks, “Howdy, Partner”

Dear “Howdy”: The Secretary of State’s office is in charge of approving new business entities. Currently, the filing fee for setting up a corporation or a limited liability company is $300. The fee for setting up a limited partnership is $750, and the fee for a limited liability partnership is $200 per partner.

Jeffrey Bates is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, but is not board certified in any area of specialty by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

This column is meant for general information and educational purposes only, and neither this column nor the transmittal of a legal question via email constitutes the creation of an attorney/client relationship between the reader and Jeffrey Bates and/or Southern Newspapers Inc. For specific advice regarding legal matters affecting you, consult an attorney.

To submit a question, send it via email to, or via regular mail to Ask the Lawyer, 101 S. First St., Lufkin 75901, or call 639-2900.