What is the Legal Definition of Homicide?

Homicide is viewed by some as straightforward, with the only factor being the death of another person.

The reality is, the circumstances of each homicide is unique, and make it a very complex legal charge that requires an experienced  Washington D.C. criminal defense attorney to established grounds for the proper treatment of your case inside and outside the courtroom.

At Lotze Mosley, LLP, our Washington, D.C. violent crime lawyers provide each of our clients with the best defense strategy available for their case. But first, it helps to understand the degrees of homicide and how they affect each case differently.

What is Homicide?

Homicide is the act of a person or people dying from the intentional actions of another, even if there was no intent to cause harm.

Homicide can result from:

  • Accidental acts
  • Negligent acts
  • Reckless acts

Each of these cases will require a different defense strategy, which is why it is important to contact an experienced Washington D.C. Lawyer the moment you are charged.

What Are the Different Legal Categories of Homicide?

As with most criminal charges, there are different categories and details that directly correlate to their legal definitions.

The different legal categories of homicide include:

  • Capital punishment
  • Euthanasia
  • Justifiable homicide
  • Killing in war
  • Manslaughter
  • Murder

While some forms of homicide that are permissible or socially acceptable, or justified based on the evidence of their actions, there are other forms of homicide that are treated as capital crimes.

What is the Difference Between Justifiable Homicide and Criminal Homicide?

Homicides are treated by the law and society based on their intent.

That includes:

  • Justifiable Homicide: Occurs with the reasonable belief that a serious crime is being committed as an attempt to prevent a crime
  • Criminal Homicide: Occurs during the unlawful killing of another, and divided into categories of murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide

Another type of homicide is called an excusable homicide, which is committed accidentally or with enough provocation that the crime would have occurred as an act of self-defense.

The greater the degree the prosecutor can prove that the homicide was committed intentionally, the greater the level of charges and their subsequent punishment will be.

If you have been charged with homicide in any capacity, contact our Washington, DC criminal defense attorneys at Lotze Mosley, LLP today in Washington D.C. at (202) 393-0535 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how can protect your rights going forward.

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