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Negligent Homicide is a mitigated homicide sentence which applies to a motor accident on a highway. When a person drives recklessly and causes a moto vehicle accident that results in the death of another person, it is negligent homicide. The death does not have to be instantaneous, but it does have to have occurred within a year of the car accident. An important distinction is that a DUI vehicle accident that results in a death will likely be charged as a first degree manslaughter offense.

A highway is the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

A vehicle is any device, used for transportation of persons or property on a highway, which is not moved by human power or used only on fixed rails or tracks. Vehicles designed and adapted exclusively for agricultural and horticultural purposes and not subject to registration are expressly excluded from this definition.

Reckless disregard of the safety of others is the omission to do something which a reasonably careful person would do, or the lack of the usual and ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions. It follows the culpable negligence standard. 

All homicide charges are serious offenses in Oklahoma. It is crucial you retain a Fierce Advocate, experienced criminal defense attorney, and criminal trial lawyer to fight for you, if you have charges of this magnitude pending in criminal court. The stakes cannot be higher than facing a homicide charge. Additionally, if you are facing murder or manslaughter charges an experienced murder defense attorney may be able to convince the jury or a prosecutor that your conduct that result in the death of another person is more accurately characterized as negligent homicide than murder or manslaughter, which may save you from life in prison. 

Oklahoma Statutes

The statute for Negligent Homicide is OKLA. STAT. tit. 47 § 903, which states that when the death of any person ensues within one (1) year as a proximate result of injury received by the driving of any vehicle by any person in reckless disregard of the safety of others, the person so operating such vehicle shall be guilty of negligent homicide.

Elements of the Crime

In order to be convicted of Negligent Homicide in Oklahoma, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are FIERCE ADVOCATES for every client and will hold the government to their burden in your case. In order to be convicted of this crime; the government must prove:

1) The death of a human;

2) caused by the defendant’s driving a vehicle upon a highway;

3) in reckless disregard of the safety of others;

And, if they are raised as issues,

4) the death occurred within a year of the infliction of the injury causing death;

5) the defendant was 16 years old or older.

Oklahoma Jury Instruction #4-105.


Any person convicted of negligent homicide shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by fine of not less than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment. In addition to the fine or penalty, the court shall order the person to attend a driver improvement or defensive driving course. Furthermore, if the records of the Department of Public Safety for the person reflect a conviction for any traffic offense within the three (3) years immediately preceding the conviction for negligent homicide, the fine shall be enhanced to double the amount of the fine imposed pursuant to this subsection. 

The Commissioner of Public Safety shall revoke the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privilege of any person convicted of negligent homicide.

What the Skilled Lawyers at Cannon & Associates Can Do For You

Being charged with Negligent Homicide in Oklahoma is a serious matter. The Oklahoma criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are Fierce Advocates for Families and Freedom and will fight for you! At Cannon & Associates, we have extensive criminal defense experience, and will be with you every step of the way. We will take care to explain the issues and options to get you to your desired result and support you in this difficult time.

Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Criminal Defense

Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for Oklahoma criminal defendants and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight your criminal case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.

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