Negligent Homicide Law & Legal Definition


Negligent homicide is the killing of another person through gross negligence or without malice. It often includes death that is the result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, which includes the operation of a boat or snowmobile. It is characterized as a death caused by death by conduct that grossly deviated from ordinary care. Negligent homicide may be charged as a lesser-included offense of manslaughter. It is also sometimes referred to as "involuntary manslaughter". State laws vary, so local law should be consulted for specific requirements.

The following is an example of a state statute dealing with negligent homicide:

"(a) (1) A person commits negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person, not constituting murder or manslaughter, as a result of operating a vehicle, an aircraft, or a watercraft:

(A) While intoxicated; or

(B) If at that time there is an alcohol concentration of eight-hundredths (0.08) or more in the person’s breath or blood…as determined by a chemical test of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance.

(2) A person who violates subdivision (a) (1) of this section is guilty of a Class C felony.

(b) (1) A person who commits negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person. A person who violates subdivision (b) (1) of this section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor."