The crime of homicide normally involves intentionally taking the life of another human being. However, in the state of New York, if you unintentionally take the life of a police or peace officer during a negligent act, you can be charged with aggravated criminally negligent homicide. If the officers were in the act of performing their duties, and you caused an officer’s death during a reckless act, you could face a homicide charge under New York penal code 125.11. Criminal negligence is when you fail to recognize that the risk of your actions could result in the death of another person.
Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide Example
If you are driving down a busy interstate and texting at the same time, and you suddenly have to avoid two oncoming cars and veer off to the side of the road and hit and kill a police officer while that officer stopped another car, you could be subject to the charge of aggravated criminally negligent homicide.
Criminally Negligent Homicide vs. Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
If you are guilty of criminally negligent homicide, then you caused the death of another person through reckless acts. However, aggravated criminally negligent homicide is taking the life of a police officer through reckless acts. Criminally negligent homicide is a class E felony and is the least serious of homicide offense in New York. Although you did not intend to kill a person by your acts, you did know that your acts could lead to the death of another person, which warrants the charge of criminally negligent homicide.
Aggravated criminally negligent homicide is the most serious of homicide offenses in New York because the death involved a police office. Most prosecutors in New York will charge you with as many felonies as they can when it involves the death of a police officer. However, under the law, you must have known that your reckless acts would lead to the death of a police officer. Therefore, if you did not know the person killed was a police officer, the prosecutor cannot charge you with aggravated criminally negligent homicide.
If you are charged with the most serious of homicide offenses, you will need an experienced NYC criminal attorney who can help you mount your defense. The first angle of approach is whether you knew the victim was a police officer. Another angle is whether or not you knew the officer was performing his or her duties. If either of the defenses holds true, then a jury cannot convict you of the most serious form of homicide. You could also argue that your actions did not differ from what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation.
Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide Sentence
Whether you are charged with manslaughter, murder or any form of homicide, you will spend multiple years in prison if you are convicted. However, aggravated criminally negligent homicide is the most serious offense, and if you are convicted, you will spend a minimum of 15 years in prison. Depending on the circumstances and your actions leading to the death of the victim, a judge could sentence you to life in prison if the court deems your actions as beyond how any other reasonable person would act. An experienced team of NYC criminal attorneys can help you avoid a conviction on these serious allegations.
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