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Phoenix Negligent Homicide Lawyer

When you are targeted by the police in the death of another person, you are likely facing the greatest legal jeopardy of your life. A conviction could cost you years in prison, even if the act you were accused of was unintentional. Facing these charges alone is a risky move, especially when you are entitled to help from a skilled homicide defense attorney

When you are living with these charges hanging over your head, it is time to speak with a Phoenix negligent homicide lawyer. The right legal counsel from Grand Canyon Law Group can get to the bottom of what happened while protecting your legal rights along the way. 

Understanding a Negligent Homicide Charge

Negligent homicide is only one of multiple offenses recognized under state law that involves the death of another human being. Unlike a murder charge, these cases involve negligent, unintentional conduct that leads to a fatal injury. 

There are two elements to be aware of in these cases, and the state has to prove both of them in order to secure a conviction. First, prosecutors must be able to show that the accused caused the death of another person, which can include an unborn child. 

The second element is important, as it is often the issue that is in primary contention in these criminal cases. This element involves an act of criminal negligence. 

An act rises to the level of negligence when a person causes the death of another person through actions that a reasonable individual would have known were highly risky. That means you could be found guilty even if you were not actually aware of the danger. If a hypothetical “reasonable” person would have avoided the course of action due to the risk of injury, the defendant is held to the same standard under the law.

How Negligent Homicide Differs From Manslaughter

This charge is not the only offense that involves the unintentional killing of another person. Another option that prosecutors could rely on is the charge of manslaughter, which has some important differences with negligent homicide. 

Both of these offenses involve causing the death of another person without intending to do so. The major difference between each charge relates to the ability of the accused to recognize danger. Manslaughter occurs when a person is aware of the risk of injury, but recklessly commits those acts anyway. This is different from negligent homicide, which stems from a person taking an unjustifiable risk—whether they were aware of it or not. 

Penalties for a Conviction

Each criminal offense is organized into categories known as classes. The class an offense falls in will determine the potential sentencing range following a conviction. Negligent homicide in Phoenix is treated as a Class 4 felony.

With mitigating factors, a person could see as little as six months in prison if convicted of this offense. If there are aggravating factors, it might be as much as three years and nine months years behind bars. It is important to note that your sentence will also depend on your criminal record. Past convictions can increase the penalty you ultimately face.  

Call a Negligent Homicide Attorney in Phoenix Today

This serious criminal offense does not carry the same legal jeopardy as murder, but any charge related to the death of another still has life-altering consequences. Fighting back against a conviction is important, as the right approach could help you win at trial or even see your case dismissed. Call a Phoenix negligent homicide lawyer today to discuss your defense strategy with Grand Canyon Law Group.

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