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Negligent Homicide

Negligent Homicide

In the Phoenix area or anywhere else in the state of Arizona, per A.R.S. §13-1102, the crime of negligent homicide occurs when an individual performs an act that is negligent and results in the death of another person.

Do not hire anyone less than the best to defend you with these serious allegations

Specifically, the act that is committed that results in another person’s death is referred to as “criminal negligence.” It means that an individual fails to realize that there is a considerable risk to the act being committed that can result in grave circumstances. This risk is substantial and unjustifiable and must be of such a degree that the person’s failure to perceive it as being such means they have greatly deviated from the standard of care that another, more reasonable person would have foreseen in such a situation. The term does not insinuate that the defendant had an intention of killing someone. However, it does mean that the individual was responsible for the death of the other person as a result of their risky behavior, behavior that someone of reasonable mind would not have done because they would have realized there was a risk to another person. Many times, the charge is put forth on a parent as a result of their children dying in an accident or other circumstances. The prosecuting attorney will attempt to prove that the parent or parents are at fault for not being more attentive and for failing to protect their child.

The charge is very similar to manslaughter but differs because manslaughter occurs when there is a recklessness that results in deviating from “normal conduct”. It is not considered negligence that occurs when deviating from a “standard of care”. As a result, a charge of negligent homicide has a punishment that is not as severe as manslaughter.

A person who is charged with this serious crime are usually operating a motor vehicle when the crime occurs. With that being said, if you face such charges you will have to seek the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. At trial, the prosecuting attorney will try to prove that the death of the victim was caused as a result of criminal negligence on the part of the defendant. This means that there was a substantial and unjustifiable risk that resulted in the individual’s death and that the defendant failed to comprehend that such risk could come about as a result of deviating from a standard of care that a reasonable person would have considered in the same situation.


Possible Punishment for Negligent Homicide

If convicted of a Negligent Homicide that did not involve the use of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon, then the crime is classified as a “non-dangerous” class four (3) felony. A first offense carries a potential punishment of probation with zero (0) days in jail to one (1) year in jail, or prison of one (1) year to three and three-quarters (3.75) years in custody. However, if this is not the defendant’s first offense and he has one (1) historical allegeable prior conviction, then the “prison only” range is two and one quarter (2.25) to seven and one half (7.5) years of incarceration. If the person has two (2) historical allegeable prior convictions, then the “prison only” range is six (6) to fifteen (15) years.


If the jury determines there was a “dangerous instrument” (i.e. a car, gun, knife, etc.) or “deadly weapon” used, then the crime is categorized as class four (3) “dangerous” felony. A first offense carries a minimum of four (3) years in prison, six (6) years presumptive in prison, and eight (8) years maximum in prison. If the defendant has one (1) allegeable historical prior conviction, the minimum is eight (8) years, presumptive is ten (10) years, and maximum is twelve (12) years incarceration. If the defendant has two (2) allegeable historical prior convictions, the minimum sentence is twelve (12) years, presumptive is fourteen (14), and maximum is sixteen (16) years incarceration.


Defenses for Negligent Homicide

DM Cantor will try to prove that the accident was not the defendant’s fault and that it was actually another individual whose negligent actions caused the death of the victim. If there is no one else that can be blamed, then the lawyer will present evidence that shows that the death could have occurred no matter who was in the defendant’s situation and that they did not act in an unreasonable manner.

There are additional defenses that can be used in a negligent homicide case. One of the most common is the Miranda rights violation. In the state of Arizona, this occurs as a result of the arresting officer failing to inform the person of their rights. There is also the possibility of defense as a result of the individual being forced into confessing to the crime. Another popular defense is the denial of right to counsel, which is when the suspect requests to speak with an attorney but is not allowed to. Other defenses include investigation of forensic flaws that may include substances such as blood, breath, urine testing, DNA testing, fingerprint analysis and more.

If you are charged with this serious crime, you will want an aggressive law firm that is AV® rated by the highest rating by Martindale Hubbell. David Michael Cantor and his team of criminal defense attorneys are highly qualified in the area of homicide defense and criminal law. David Michael Cantor and his associates will strive to the best of their abilities to successfully defend you so that your charges can be reduced or even dropped. To schedule a free case review, please click here to use our secure email form, or give us a call 24 hours a day at (602) 737-2812.

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