Oklahoma City Attorney BlogWhat Is Negligent Homicide in Oklahoma?

negligent homicide in oklahoma

Negligent homicide means you’ve done something negligent to kill someone.

Negligence refers to a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. It may encompass actions you did that a prudent person would not do, or conversely, things you failed to do which a prudent person would do.

Negligent homicide is a lesser charge than other forms of homicide like murder or manslaughter. Murder generally requires intent to kill or cause serious harm, while manslaughter may require a high degree of recklessness. Negligent homicide, on the other hand, can occur even if the person didn’t intend to cause harm or was not being extremely reckless, but merely failed to exercise the proper care and someone died as a result.

This crime exists almost exclusively in relation to automobile and vehicle accidents. If a person drives recklessly and causes a motor vehicle accident, and that motor vehicle accident results in the death of someone, that would be an example of negligent homicide. This can be the case even if the person doesn’t die directly at the scene. That person could even die days later and the charge of negligent homicide would still apply.


Negligent homicide is considered a misdemeanor offense.

The penalties for conviction can include:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fine of up to $1,000 (or $2,000 if there are other traffic offenses on the defendant’s record within three years of the fatal accident)
  • Potential drivers license revocation
  • Mandatory defensive driver course

Free Consultation with an OKC Criminal Defense Attorney

Don’t just take this on the chin. If you need to talk to someone about a negligent homicide charge or any other criminal charge, talk to an Oklahoma City criminal defense attorney at the Wirth Law Office – Oklahoma City. You can reach out via the contact form at the top of the page or by calling our number at 405 888 5400. Whatever method you choose, an OKC criminal defense lawyer will be in touch with you soon.

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