Facing homicide charges can upend your entire life in an instant. While negligent homicide is a less severe charge than murder or manslaughter, the penalties can still significantly impact your life. If convicted, you could face heavy fines and years behind bars. Since negligent homicide is a felony offense, convicted individuals may continue to face the consequences long after their sentence is served.
If you are under investigation for negligent homicide in Louisiana, the stakes are too high to go without the help of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will take the time to get to know you and every detail of your case so they can craft the best defense for your unique situation.
Negligent Homicide in Louisiana Defined
Negligent homicide occurs when someone’s criminal negligence kills another person. If a person behaves recklessly and below the standard of care expected of reasonable people, they may be guilty of criminal negligence, even if they never intended to commit a crime. For example, if you are operating a car, truck, or another motor vehicle while distracted and fail to stop at a stop sign and strike and kill a person, you could be charged with negligent homicide.
A person may also be charged with negligent homicide if their pet kills a person. For instance, if someone fails to leash their dog and it attacks and kills another person, they could be arrested and charged with a felony-level offense.
Penalties for Negligent Homicide in Louisiana
Negligent homicide is charged as a felony in Louisiana, and a conviction carries severe consequences. If you are found guilty of negligent homicide, you may be sentenced to the following penalties:
- Up to five years in prison with or without hard labor
- A fine of up to $5,000
- License suspension (if the death was a result of a DUI)
It is essential to note that if the victim of the homicide was under ten years of age, those found guilty would face a minimum sentence of two years with hard labor and no chance of parole. Additionally, individuals convicted of felonies often have difficulty finding work, securing housing, and maintaining relationships after their initial sentence is complete.
Possible Defenses for a Louisiana Negligent Homicide Charge
If you are facing negligent homicide charges in Louisiana, an experienced criminal defense attorney may make the difference between your freedom and incarceration. Your lawyer will conduct an investigation into your case to develop the best defense strategy for your needs. Some possible defense strategies for a negligent homicide case include:
- You acted like any other person reasonably would and did not deviate from the expected standard of care
- You believed there was an immediate threat and acted in self-defense
- There was no reckless behavior involved in the incident
- The police were guilty of misconduct or performed an unlawful arrest
- There is insufficient evidence to convict you
It is up to the prosecutor to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal cases. A dependable defense attorney will use their expertise to chip away at the prosecution’s case to cast doubt on your guilt as they present your defense.
Contact a First-Class Homicide Defense Attorney in Louisiana
If you face negligent homicide charges in Louisiana, it is in your best interests to have an expert homicide defense attorney in your corner. At the John D. and Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, our attorneys are dedicated to providing unparalleled legal services and protecting the rights of the accused. Eric G. Johnson and his staff have the experience and compassion to guide you through Louisiana’s complex justice system. Call our criminal defense lawyers today at (318) 377-1555 or reach out through our contact form to schedule a free consultation with a legal expert.