Of all the crimes that can be committed in Tennessee, murder is perhaps the most serious. Murder is not tolerated in the Memphis area and those who are found guilty of the crime almost always face an aggressive prosecution. However, even those violent crimes that fall short of murder can cause an individual to face potentially serious consequences. One such charge is involuntary manslaughter.
Involuntary manslaughter is when the death of a person is caused by another person's reckless or negligent actions. With a murder charge, the intent is to harm another person, but in an involuntary manslaughter charge the state is accusing the defendant of disregard for safety that caused death.
Involuntary manslaughter in Tennessee is divided into three categories: vehicular homicide, reckless homicide, and criminally negligent homicide. Vehicular homicide can happen when a person is killed because of the recklessness of the driver of a vehicle. This can be caused by distracted driving, speeding, and driving under the influence, amongst others. Reckless homicide is causing another person's death because of reckless actions (other than a vehicle), and criminally negligent homicide is causing the death of another person because of a criminally negligent conduct.
Involuntary manslaughter in Tennessee is typically a felony, carrying potential penalties of prison time, fines, and a ruined reputation. Vehicular manslaughter convictions can also bring the loss of driving privileges for several years. A person who is facing murder charges or involuntary manslaughter charges may therefore want to discuss their case with a legal professional skilled in criminal defense. An attorney can help a defendant tell his side of the story and may be able to negotiate a fair outcome.
Source: FindLaw, "Tennessee involuntary manslaughter laws", accessed on April 26, 2015