Negligent homicide in New Hampshire is a crime whereby the death of another person was caused by an unintentional act of another, and was the result of conduct in which the defendant was remiss in doing or not doing something that is in violation of the law.
Under the civil law of negligence, a person has a duty to use ordinary care when engaging in certain behavior such as driving an automobile. If that person’s behavior was grossly negligent, such as driving a car with an elevated blood alcohol level, he or she could be charged and found guilty of criminally negligent homicide if a fatality was a consequence of their unlawful behavior.
In some jurisdictions, negligent homicide is also referred to as manslaughter, meaning that the act contained no malice, intent, or premeditation to commit homicide. If you or a loved one have been charged with negligent homicide, generally a Class B felony, you need the services of a skilled NH felony defense attorney who can offer you the best possible defense.
EXAMPLES OF NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Nursing home or elder abuse
- High speed crash
- Child endangerment
In these cases, the actor has engaged in an activity that grossly deviates from his or her duty of exercising ordinary care. For instance, you may not drive a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs because you know or should know that it severely impairs your judgment while operating a machine that has a high potential to cause death in a collision.
Caretakers or guardians of the elderly have a duty of care to them just as parents have a duty to their children to provide them with adequate nutrition and to keep them safe and healthy. Allowing someone under your care to accumulate bed sores that leads to a fatal infection; to keep them in unsanitary conditions; or to fail to adequately provide food and medical treatment to a child or an elderly person under your care, can subject you to being charged with negligent homicide if that person succumbs due to your neglect.
PENALTIES FOR A CONVICTION OF NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE IN NH
Under New Hampshire Revised Statutes 630:3, a person who negligently causes the death of another person is guilty of a Class B felony. The offense carries a term of imprisonment of 3 years and 6 months to 7 years and a fine of $4,000.
You can also be charged with a Class A felony if you caused a death by being under the influence of alcohol or a drug while operating a boat, automobile, motorcycle, or motorboat, sailboat, paddleboat or one with oars. This carries a minimum prison sentence of 7 years and 6 months to 15 years and a fine of $4000.
If your negligent homicide conviction involved operating a motor vehicle or other propelled vehicle while under the influence, you may lose your driver’s license for up to 7 years. In any negligent homicide case where alcohol was involved, the court can also require that your driver’s license be revoked for 7 years and that your license not be reinstated until you receive an ignition interlock device installed on all your vehicles for up to 5 years.
Unless your negligent homicide conviction was driving under the influence, you can petition the court to expunge a Class B felony after 5 years following completion of sentence and probation or parole. For most Class A felonies, the waiting period to petition the court is 10 years.
RETAIN A NH FELONY DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Ryan Russman has the experience and knowledge in homicide cases to vigorously defend you and to protect all of your constitutional rights. You face serious prison time and significant obstacles with a felony conviction that can affect your ability to find employment, rent or buy a home, travel, obtain credit, or obtain a professional license. Your future demands someone who can thoroughly explore any possible defense and assure you the best possible outcome.