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Criminal Homicide in TN

criminal-homicide-pageCases involving charges of criminal homicide refer to situations in which a person is killed by another. These types of offenses are, obviously, very serious and are therefore punished severely by Tennessee courts.

The consequences of being charged with some form of criminal homicide are guaranteed to haunt offenders for the rest of their lives, so it’s important that persons accused of committing such a crime are both informed as to what exact charges they’re facing and aware of their options from a legal standpoint.

Types of Criminal Homicide

Depending on the circumstances surrounding unlawful killings, a criminal homicide case will fall under a specific category. It’s important to recognize the differing qualifications and penalties for each type, since consequences vary. Tennessee state law recognizes five different types of criminal homicide:

  1. First Degree Murder: Most people are familiar with what this type of homicide means. First degree murders refer to premeditated, intentional killings. However, it’s important to realize that this charge can be attributed to any other murder that might occur during the execution of that which is premeditated. For example, if a person broke into another person’s house with the intention of killing one person, but ended up killing others also present, each murder is considered “first degree.”
  2. Second Degree Murder: The difference between these crimes and murders of the first degree is the intent. The former type of homicide is attributed to killings that were planned. Second degree murders are not premeditated, but they are “knowing killings.” A person guilty of providing illegal drugs to a person who was then killed by their ingestion would be guilty of second degree murder.
  3. Vehicular Homicide: This type of homicide is pretty straightforward. Anybody who is killed as the result of negligent or reckless operation of a vehicle (cars, boats, planes — any kind of vehicle) has been the victim of vehicular homicide. A drunk driving accident in which there are fatalities would be an example of vehicular homicide. Intoxicated drivers in such situations are considered guilty of this crime.
  4. Criminally Negligent Homicide: This categorization refers to killings that occur due to negligent criminal behavior. In other words, deaths which result as a byproduct of another crime (for example, an aggravated burglary) are considered criminally negligent homicides.
  5. Voluntary Manslaughter: Killing is considered voluntary manslaughter when evidence proves that a “reasonable person” could be provoked into irrationally killing another in a state of high emotions. It’s crucial that adequate evidence be supplied for these types of crimes, otherwise they could be considered more severe offenses, like first or second degree murder.

Consequences of Criminal Homicides

The penalties for criminal homicide crimes vary accordingly to each type, although they are all classified as felonies. Felony designations for various categories of criminal homicides are as follows:

  1. First Degree Murder: Class A felony (in addition to life sentences or death penalty)
  2. Second Degree Murder: Class A felony
  3. Vehicular Homicide: Class C, or Class B for drunk driving cases
  4. Criminally Negligent Homicide: Class E felony
  5. Voluntary Manslaughter: Class C felony

Hire Nashville Criminal Attorneys

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of cases related to criminal homicides. If you wish to pursue damages against a person guilty of criminal homicide, or if you yourself have been accused of such a crime, then you should take legal action as soon as possible. Call today, or go online to set up your Free Initial Consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who’s ready and waiting to get you on track toward the most satisfactory resolution.

(615) 259-2660