Homicide is a term that many people associate with murder, but this isn’t always the case. There are times when a person dies due to another person’s actions, but the criteria for murder isn’t present. It is important to understand a few points about what is included in the umbrella term “homicide.”

When a homicide is a criminal act, it can fall under one of two main classifications — murder and manslaughter. A murder is a more severe crime than a manslaughter. Still, they should all be treated as serious matters while you work on your defense for the charges.

When someone is attacking you, taking action might be necessary. In these cases, the homicide might be justifiable based on self-defense. This would likely mean that you aren’t going to face a criminal charge in connection with it.

Manslaughter charges usually involve some sort of negligence or possibly recklessness. A drunk driver who causes an accident that results in a death could face manslaughter charges.

Murder requires an element of intention. The person has to plan on killing someone. It doesn’t matter whether the intended target was the victim or not. If an innocent bystander dies when a person is trying to kill another person, a murder charge is likely going to be filed. In some cases, a murder charge is filed when a death occurs during a felony crime. This wouldn’t require intent or planning.

Homicides are always difficult situations. People who are facing these charges need to ensure they understand the specific points of their case so they can determine how to address them.

Source: FindLaw, “Homicide Definition,” accessed May 03, 2018