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Experienced Legal Counsel

Tennessee law defines a criminal homicide as the unlawful killing of another. Once an offense has been determined to be a homicide, there are varying levels of culpability that correspond with criminal charges. 

  • First Degree Murder and Felony Murder

    • First degree murder is defined as:

      • ​ A premeditated and intentional killing of another; or

      • A killing of another committed as the result of the unlawful throwing, placing or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; or

    • Felony Murder which is the killing of another committed in the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate any first degree murder, act of terrorism, arson, rape, robbery, burglary, theft, kidnapping, aggravated child abuse, aggravated child neglect, rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child or aircraft piracy; ​

    • First Degree Murder is punishable by death, life without possibility of parole, or life with possibility of parole

  • Second Degree Murder

    • Second Degree Murder is defined as:

      • ​A knowing killing of another; or

      • A killing of another that results from the unlawful distribution of any Schedule I or Schedule II drug, when the drug is the proximate cause of the death of the user.

    • Second Degree Murder is a class A felony which can carry 15 up to 60 years of incarceration based on prior criminal history. 

  • Voluntary Manslaughter

    • Voluntary Manslaughter is defined as:

      • ​ intentional or knowing killing of another in a state of passion produced by adequate provocation sufficient to lead a reasonable person to act in an irrational manner.

    • Voluntary Manslaughter is a class C felony which can carry 3 to 15 years of incarceration based on prior criminal history. 

  • Vehicular Homicide

    • Vehicular Homicide is defined as: 

      • the reckless killing of another by the operation of an automobile, airplane, motorboat or other motor vehicle, as the proximate result of:

        • ​Conduct creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to a person;

        • The driver's intoxication; 

        • as the proximate result of  drag racing ; 

        •  conduct in a posted construction zone where the person killed was an employee of the department of transportation or a highway construction worker.

    • Vehicular Homicide can be a class B or C felony based on the circumstances of the offense, carrying up to 30 years of incarceration based on prior criminal history. 

  • Reckless Homicide

    • Reckless Homicide is defined as the reckless killing of another​

    • Reckless homicide is a class D felony which can carry 2 to 12 years of incarceration based on prior criminal history. 

  • Criminally Negligent Homicide

    • Criminally Negligent Homicide is defined as:

      • Criminally negligent conduct resulting in homicide​

      • Criminal negligence requires “a substantial and unjustifiable risk” and the risk must be of such a nature and degree that “the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the person's standpoint.”

    • Criminally Negligent Homicide is a class E felony which can carry 1 to 6 years of incarceration based on prior criminal history.

These charges represent some of the most significant punishments available under Tennessee Law, making it critical that you speak with an experienced trial attorney as soon as possible when charges are anticipated or have been brought against you or a loved one. 

The Isaacs Law Firm has decades of successful trial experience in litigating homicide charges. Contact us today so that we can discuss the facts of your case. 

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