An Overview: Homicide, Manslaughter and Murder
Being charged with the death of another person is the single worst charge you can face. Sometimes known as a capital crime, these charges can carry the death penalty in the State of Tennessee. However, not all charges of causing the death of another person are the same, and the levels of punishment can vary greatly. If you are charged with any of the following crimes in Tennessee, it is imperative that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Criminal defense lawyers can review your case and expertly advise on the mounting the best possible defense.
Homicide is a term applied to the act, directly or indirectly, of causing the death of another human being. Homicide can be either culpable or not culpable. Homicide that is not culpable or not at fault usually constitutes killing someone in self-defense or by accident and is often not prosecuted. Culpable or at fault homicide is usually broken down into two main categories: murder and manslaughter.
Murder in Tennessee
Murder can take on many forms and the criminal charges can vary by circumstances and degree. According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-202, the most severe of these charges is first-degree murder and can involve:
- A premeditated and intentional killing of another
- A killing of another that is committed while carrying or attempting to carry out an act of terrorism, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, kidnapping, aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect, aggravated rape of a child, or aircraft piracy
- A killing of another committed as the result of the unlawful throwing, placing or discharging of a destructive device or bomb
Any type of murder that is not first-degree murder is considered second-degree murder. All murder charges are extremely serious. If you are faced with this circumstance, contact a criminal defense lawyer in Jackson immediately.
Manslaughter in Tennessee
Second-degree murder may be reduced to a manslaughter charge if the person who caused the death did it in a heat of passion or was subject to a sudden provocation that a normal person could not control. According to Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-13-211, voluntary manslaughter can be applied if a defendant killed another person during a passionate episode and is extremely remorseful for the act. Involuntary manslaughter is an act of unintentionally or recklessly causing the death of another person. An example of involuntary manslaughter can be killing someone while driving drunk.