The scope of the homicide statutes is broad. Often, the operation of vehicles on our highways lead to deaths. The manner in which the vehicle was being operated can lead to a variety of criminal charges.
The homicide statutes define various elements of these crimes. Circumstances surrounding the victim’s death and the identity of the victim often determine what type of homicide can be charged. Examples include the following:
- First and Second Degree Murder;
- Murder during the commission of a felony;
- voluntary and involuntary manslaughter;
- negligent homicide;
Each of the crimes specified above have their own elements and definitions.
In any homicide case, an act of the accused must be the cause of the victim’s death. In many cases, there is a factual or a legal issue with this element of the prosecutor’s case. This is where having a good lawyer is very important in a homicide.
The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim’s death was a natural, necessary, or inevitable result of the defendant’s act. An intervening cause, or the contributory fault of the decedent are valid defenses that can be argued to a jury.