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Negligent Homicide

Negligent Homicide Attorney In Phoenix

Negligent Homicide is a form of murder under Arizona law. Even accidents may be charged as negligent homicide if the prosecution believes the person who caused the accident failed to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk. Arizona classifies this conduct as homicide, though, it is the lowest level of homicide under the law.

If you or a loved one has been charged with negligent homicide, it is important that you consult with a criminal defense attorney. When working with our law firm, you will have an experienced attorney who will provide an aggressive representation so that you can have the best chance to get your case resolved. We offer free consultations to help you determine what your next steps need to be. 

What Is Considered Negligent Homicide In Arizona?

ARS 13-1102 requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you or a loved one caused the death of another person with criminal negligence. The law also does not require a person to have had any intention to kill when they commit negligent homicide.

Acting with criminal negligence means that you failed to recognize a substantial and unjustifiable risk that could have or did cause the death of another person. Objectively, this means the risk is one that a reasonable person would not have taken. What raises the degree of negligence from ordinary civil liability to criminal liability is when you grossly deviate from what a reasonable person would have done in a similar situation. Arizona calls this criminal negligence, while some states call it gross negligence.

For example, you are driving at 110 mph, run a red light, and kill someone in the crosswalk and/or you are driving after drinking alcohol or smoking weed and you kill someone. In both cases, there was no intention to cause serious harm or kill, but their failure to act in a way that an ordinary person would act in that situation raises it to the level of criminal negligence. It is a fine line between what is a tragic accident or criminal liability.

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Dealing with criminal charges in Arizona can be overwhelming and stressful. Receiving a charge of this magnitude in Arizona when you don’t live here adds an additional stress that you may not know how to handle.
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Penalties For A Negligent Homicide Conviction In Arizona

Negligent homicide is a class 4 felony, and the potential sentence differs according to:

  • Whether you have a criminal record
  • Whether you used a dangerous instrument or weapon (e.g., gun, baseball bat, car)

If neither 1 or 2 apply, then the sentence would range somewhere between probation with no prison time, and 3.75 years.

If you have a criminal record, then the possible sentence increases to:

  • Between 2.25 and 7.5 years if you have one prior conviction on your record.
  • Between 6 and 15 years if you have two or more prior convictions on your record.

If there was a dangerous weapon or instrument used, then:

  • Between 4 and 8 years imprisonment for a first offense.

If you use a dangerous weapon or instrument, and have a criminal record:

  • Between 8 and 12 years if the defendant has one prior conviction.
  • Between 12 and 16 years if the defendant has two or more prior convictions.
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Contact An Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

At the Nava Law Firm, our team is dedicated to helping and representing you. You will have an experienced attorney who will provide an aggressive representation so that you can have the best chance to get your case resolved.

‍Our firm primarily serves the areas of Phoenix, Scottsdale, Chandler, Glendale and other areas around Arizona. If you are in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Maricopa County, please contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.


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Legal Disclaimer:

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Many factors contribute to providing legal advice, including the specific facts of a situation. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Armando Nava is licensed to practice law in Arizona. We invite you to contact us, but please be aware that contacting us does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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