NYC Lawyer for Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
Aggravated criminally negligent homicide can land you in prison for up to 15 years if it’s your first offense, and for life if it’s your third or subsequent offense under New York State law. It’s a serious charge with serious penalties for people who are convicted, so it makes sense that your first phone call should be to a homicide lawyer in Brooklyn to get the help you deserve.
What is Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide in Brooklyn?
A person commits criminally negligent homicide when he or she causes another person’s death with criminal negligence. Criminal negligence, under NY law, is defined this way:
“A person acts with criminal negligence with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.”
What that means is that the person the state has charged with the crime has engaged in conduct that creates so much risk that another person will likely die as a result. If your carelessness, recklessness or indifference leads to another person’s death, the state can charge you with this crime.
Aggravated criminally negligent homicide falls under that definition, except the victim must be a police officer or peace officer during the time that the victim was performing his or her official duties – and the person accused of the crime knew or reasonably should have known that the victim was a police officer or peace officer.
The victim must be one of the following engaged in official duties:
Is Homicide the Same as Murder or Manslaughter?
Contrary to popular belief, homicide is not always equal to murder. Although the terms are used interchangeably in many situations, they’re not the same. Neither is the same as manslaughter, either.
Homicide is causing the death of another person.
Murder is causing the death of another person with the deliberate intent to cause death.
Manslaughter is causing the death of another person by being reckless.
Knowing vs. Not Knowing the Victim’s Profession
The key to an aggravated criminally negligent homicide charge is that the defendant, or the person who is being charged with the crime, had to know or reasonably should have known that the victim was a law enforcement official or a peace officer.
That means a reasonable person, under reasonable circumstances, would be able to tell that the victim fell into that category.
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide?
If a jury finds you guilty of aggravated criminally negligent homicide, you have committed a Class C felony under New York law. It’s punishable by up to 15 years in prison. If the state of New York considers you a persistent felony offender, which means you have at least two prior violent felonies and the current crime is violent, you could be sent to prison for 16 years or given a life sentence.
What to Do if You’re Accused of Aggravated Criminally Negligent Homicide
If police charge you with aggravated criminally negligent homicide, the first thing you need to do is call an attorney. Because it’s such a serious crime – and because it carries such serious repercussions – it’s important that you talk to a lawyer who understands the law and who has dealt with cases like yours before.
Don’t talk to the police. While they do have a job to do, that job is to find the guilty party and score a confession. Even if you are innocent and have nothing to do with the crime they’re accusing you of committing, it’s probably in your best interest to keep quiet and wait for a lawyer.
If someone you care about has been arrested for aggravated criminally negligent homicide, the best advice you can give them is to wait for an attorney to arrive. Let them know they’re not required to answer investigators’ questions and that they have the right to have a lawyer present with them when they are being interrogated.
New York law recognizes what are called affirmative defenses. In some cases, your attorney can argue that you were acting under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance. Your attorney can help you sort out the details as he begins building your defense.
Talk to an Experienced Homicide Attorney Now
If you’re being charged with any type of homicide, you don’t have time to waste. Call or text my cell phone at 917-856-1247 or contact me online. You deserve to have a knowledgeable, talented homicide lawyer in your corner – and I can start protecting your rights as soon as you call me.