Negligent homicide is one of the five types of homicide charges in Louisiana. If you’ve been charged with this crime, you’re being accused of killing someone, which is among the most serious charges you can face in criminal court.
As such, you should hire a criminal defense attorney immediately to defend yourself from a homicide conviction. After all, if convicted, the penalties could include fines and prison time. If you want a chance to avoid these consequences, find out how negligent homicide is defined and treated in this state and what you can do about your charge.
What Is Negligent Homicide?
Negligent homicide is the unintentional killing of a person due to criminal negligence. If you’re charged with this offense, it means someone died allegedly because you behaved recklessly. For instance, if you were texting while speeding down a busy road and caused a car accident that killed someone, you could be charged with negligent homicide.
The same charge is possible if you caused someone’s death by leaving a child in a hot car, shooting a gun into the air, or allowing your dog to run without a leash in public and attack someone. In these situations, you didn’t mean for anyone to be killed, but your actions were considered careless or even reckless by the court.
If you want to prove that your actions did not cause the victim’s death, you need to talk to criminal defense attorneys serving Louisiana as soon as possible to begin working on your defense. Otherwise, you could end up with life-altering consequences over a death that was not intentional on your part.
What Penalties Do You Face?
If you’re convicted of negligent homicide, you’ll have a felony on your record and could be sentenced to up to five years in prison with or without hard labor. If the victim was under ten years old, you’ll be sentenced to two to five years in prison with hard labor, with no possibility of parole or probation.
You will also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, if your negligent actions occurred behind the wheel of a car, such as in a DUI, your driver’s license will likely be suspended.
Aside from these immediate penalties, you will also have to deal with the consequences of having a felony on your criminal record. This may make it hard for you to find a job or a house, even after you’ve served your time in prison. That’s why you should talk to a lawyer immediately after being arrested for negligent homicide in Louisiana, as you deserve the chance to fight these serious charges.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help You?
A conviction of this kind can be devastating for you, but it’s important to know that you do not have to sit back and accept the penalties. Instead of admitting guilt, hire a criminal defense attorney to represent you. You might be surprised at the defense angles available to avoid conviction for this offense.
For example, you can work toward proving that you acted reasonably, not negligently. Another angle is that you acted in self-defense because you believed there was a threat to your life. Your lawyer can also work on showing that while someone at the scene may have acted negligently and caused a death, it wasn’t you, meaning you were wrongfully accused by the police.
When you contact Louisiana criminal defense lawyers, they will review your case and gather the evidence before determining the right defense angle for your situation. This may involve talking to witnesses, examining police reports and medical records, and requesting photos and videos of the scene. Gathering this evidence on your own can be time-consuming and nearly impossible in some cases since you might not have access to all of it. That’s why you should leave this task to experienced criminal defense attorneys.
When you hire Keith T. Whiddon, Attorney at Law, LLC, you will have skilled lawyers on your side to determine an approach that will have the best possible outcome for your case. Call us at 318-594-3592 to schedule your initial consultation today.