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Knox County criminal defense attorney reckless homicide

While it may seem like an excuse, there is something to say about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The words “murder” and “homicide” raise immediate red flags, often bringing gun violence to mind in this day and age. However, what if you caused a car accident and the other driver’s injuries were fatal? Or perhaps a weapon malfunction while hunting led to your friend’s death? These are two examples of unintentionally causing the death of another person, also known as involuntary manslaughter. The state of Tennessee recognizes that not all deaths, or crimes, are one in the same, and the law reflects this by dividing involuntary manslaughter charges into three separate criminal categories.

Reckless and Criminally Negligent Homicide

Although these two are technically separate charges, the legal descriptions are fairly similar. The state loosely defines criminal negligence and reckless homicide in order to leave room for a number of criminal behaviors to fall within these categories. Reckless homicide occurs when a person is aware of the risks of serious injury or death that their actions pose to the other person, but he or she continues to act and the other person dies as a result. A common example of this is the accidental discharging of a firearm. A more rare occurrence is playing a dangerous game like Russian roulette, where both parties are aware of the potential risks, and one of the individuals dies in the process. 

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