Types of Homicide

While all homicides are horrifying and punishable by law, there are different ranges of homicides that can be committed. Manslaughter, murder, criminally negligent homicide, and vehicular manslaughter are four different types of homicides that have unique characteristics.

Manslaughter is defined as “the unjustifiable, inexcusable, and intentional killing of a human being without deliberation, premeditation, and malice.” There are two types of manslaughter: involuntary and voluntary. The difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter is that voluntary revolves around the idea that the accused person intentionally harmed the victim.

Different from manslaughter, murder is “the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority.” For murder, the keyword is malice. Unlike manslaughter, murder is intentional. There are two degrees of murder: first degree and second degree. First degree murder involves deliberate planning, premeditation, and/or malice, whereas second degree murder simply involves malice.

A criminally negligent homicide occurs if a death has resulted from another’s criminal negligence. Acting with criminal negligence is when someone’s action “grossly deviates” from normal behavior. Examples of criminal negligence could be when someone leaves a child in car that’s turned off, or if someone driving recklessly. While this type of homicide is often considered less serious, it is equally as devastating.

Lastly, vehicular manslaughter is when a death occurs due to illegal and reckless operation of a vehicle. Vehicular manslaughter can be categorized as a misdemeanor or manslaughter, depending on the extent of driving laws that were broken at the time of the accident. Speeding, drunk driving, and acting with gross negligence are three instances in which this type of homicide can happen.

Click here to read more about the different types of homicides. Homicide charges affect lives of those accused, however action can be taken to reduce them.