Homicide occurs when the actions or inactions of one person causes the death of another. NY Penal Law § 125 defines it as “conduct which causes the death of a person or an unborn child.” Homicide is further broken down into a number of categories including:
1. Negligent Homicide –
- Negligent homicide occurs when someone’s criminally negligent actions lead to the death of another. In order for an action to be criminally negligent there must have been a reasonable risk that was ignored or overlooked. Ignoring or overlooking this risk must also be considered a departure from the standard of care of a reasonable person.
2. Manslaughter –
- Manslaughter occurs when a person’s reckless actions lead to the death of another. NY Penal Law § 15.05 defines recklessness as when a person is “aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk” and also as a person who “creates such a risk but is unaware.” This means it is reckless behavior to knowingly ignore a reasonable risk to the safety of another, or to create such a risk. When either of these two events lead to the death of another person it is considered manslaughter.
3. Murder –
- Murder occurs when someone possess intent to take the life of another person and does so. This differs from manslaughter and negligent homicide in that the intended result of the defendants actions was to kill said person.
4. Abortion –
- Abortion as a homicide occurs when an individual, purposefully causes a miscarriage on themselves or another person without consent, or if the action is unjustifiable by law.
Elements of Homicide
In order to be found guilty of the above crimes the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- There was an unlawful killing; and
- Of another human being; and
- It was the result of criminal negligence; or
- It was caused by a reckless action; or
- It was premediated with malice aforethought
In many homicide defenses, the best outcome is reducing the degree or seriousness of the charge. With this goal in mind some of the strategies include:
- Demonstrating with evidence that the defendant did not possess intent to commit homicide
- Demonstrating a lack of evidence that shows the defendant possessed the intent to commit homicide
The Kushner Law Group strives to protect your legal rights as a team of like-minded legal professionals that believe in the equality and justice mandated in our Constitution. If you have been charged with homicide or another crime, call us now for a free consultation at (718) 504-1440 or click here to learn more about the Kushner Law Group.