Legal Dictionary

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Criminal Negligent Homicide

Criminal negligent homicide (more commonly referred to as “Involuntary Manslaughter” and also referred to as “Negligent Homicide”) is a crime of causing another's death through criminal negligence. Criminal negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention or mistake in judgment.

A person acts with criminal negligence when:

  • He or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and
  • A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk.

In other words, a person acts with criminal negligence when his or her behavior is a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same or similar situation. For example, if a driver kills a pedestrian while speeding through a residential area and blowing stop signs, he could be charged with criminal negligent homicide.