Legally speaking, homicide is the killing of one person by another person. It is broader in scope than murder, which is generally defined as the crime of unlawfully killing a person, especially with malice aforethought. Thus, the two terms are not synonyms and should not be used interchangeably. Some homicides may be justified or excusable, such as a killing done in self-defense or by soldiers during times of war. Murder, on the other hand, always constitutes a criminal act and is punishable by law.
In Kentucky, there are four crimes that fall under the umbrella of criminal homicide:
- First Degree Manslaughter
- Second Degree Manslaughter
- Reckless Homicide.
The intent of the accused is usually the determining factor as to how a criminal homicide is classified and at what degree.
When facing significant charges like murder, manslaughter or reckless homicide, you need an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of homicide. Dan Carman, Lexington homicide lawyer, has the knowledge and skills to understand the charges against you and will work diligently to protect your rights. Homicide charges in Kentucky are not taken lightly. Don’t gamble your future. Contact Dan today.
Kentucky Revised Statute (KRS) § 507.050 states that a person is guilty of reckless homicide when, with recklessness, he or she causes the death of another person. A “reckless” act occurs when a person consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk with respect to the circumstances surrounding his or her conduct or to the result of that conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances. The requirement of “recklessness” can also be established by showing that the accused acted intentionally or knowingly.
Negligence is very similar to recklessness, yet is considered noncriminal conduct. Thus, it is imperative that anyone accused of reckless homicide should consult an experienced attorney to ensure that the proper charges were filed. It could be that the death in question happened as a result of negligence, not recklessness. Dan Carman’s experience as a criminal defense lawyer has taught him what questions to ask and what details might make the difference for someone charged with reckless homicide.
Reckless homicide is considered a Class D felony, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one, but no more than five years, as well as a fine of not less than $1,000, but no more than $10,000.
The outcome of any criminal case depends on many variables, such as the facts surrounding the charges, the strength of the evidence, the legal validity of police procedure, and the strategy of the defense. A capable attorney with years of experience — both as a defense lawyer and as a prosecuting attorney for military personnel charged with felonies — Dan Carman is uniquely qualified to navigate you through this complicated legal process.
Reckless homicide is frequently charged in motor vehicle accidents that result in a fatality. The law says that even though the person responsible for the accident didn’t intend the outcome, he or she was aware of the risk that his or her acts were likely to cause death or great bodily harm to someone else, and chose to engage in the activity anyway. A classic example of reckless homicide occurs when someone chooses to drink and drive, and then causes an accident that kills another person. By drinking and driving, the person who caused the accident is deemed to have behaved in a reckless manner because there is a well-established and widely known danger involved in drinking and driving.
Other circumstances that could result in a criminal charge of reckless homicide include texting while driving, road rage, excessive speed, and speeding through a construction zone. Of course, reckless homicide is not restricted to motor vehicle incidents, but can result wherever someone undertakes an unnecessary risk that most people would consider likely to harm someone. In fact, in 2009, a Louisville high school football coach was charged with reckless homicide and was subsequently acquitted in the death of a player who collapsed during practice on a hot day.
LEXINGTON KENTUCKY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
If you have been charged with, or are under investigation for, reckless homicide, your best course of action is to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. You should not discuss the case with anyone else, including the police, investigators, friends, and family members, because those statements can be used against you in court. Even if you are only a suspect and have not been formally charged with a crime, consulting with an attorney can help protect your rights.
Dan Carman, Kentucky Reckless Homicide Defense Attorney, offers a free consultation so that he can learn about the facts of your case and begin to develop a legal defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. A native of Lexington and a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Dan is dedicated to helping those in his community who may find themselves struggling with serious criminal accusations. He will work with you to plan the aggressive defense that you will need and encourages you to call his office at (859)685-1055, his cell at (859)396-1049, or to fill out his online contact form. If law enforcement needs any more information from you, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that a competent criminal defense attorney is at your side.