There are important distinctions between civil and criminal courtrooms. For example, a judge in a civil courtroom cannot convict someone of a crime or sentence someone to prison.
“Negligence” is a term that you’ll often hear in a civil courtroom. But did you know that criminal negligence also exists?
The criminal negligence definition differs from civil negligence in terms of severity.
Was the negligence purely accidental? Or was it reckless and clearly dangerous?
When the latter is true, we’re usually looking at criminal negligence.
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To give you a better sense of what criminal negligence is, let’s look at three criminal negligence examples.
You’ve probably heard of “Involuntary manslaughter” because it is the most obvious form of criminal negligence. Involuntary manslaughter refers to instances in which one individual’s actions led to the death of another person, although it wasn’t their intent to kill. For example, if someone killed another driver while driving under the influence, this would likely be ruled involuntary manslaughter.
Another unfortunate example that we see often is leaving a child in dangerous conditions. For example, if a caregiver were to leave a child in a parked car on a hot day and that child suffered or died as a result, the caregiver would receive a charge of criminal negligence. The idea, here, is that the child came to harm due to negligence, but the caregiver should have known that their actions were harmful.
If you’re familiar with your state’s gun laws, you probably know that gun owners are required to keep their guns locked away and unloaded. When a legal gun owner leaves a loaded gun in an accessible place and someone gets hurt as a result, this is criminal negligence. The gun owner had a legal and ethical obligation and failed to meet it.
As we mentioned already, civil personal injury cases also hinge on negligence. However, negligence in a civil context is less severe and has less dire outcomes. Can you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim against someone who is facing criminal negligence charges?
The answer is yes. Talk to the lawyers at Sweetlaw.com to find out more about your rights. Filing a civil claim against someone who harmed you or a loved one can result in financial justice that you will not receive in the criminal courtroom.
Not all negligence results in reversible harm and not every instance of negligence counts as an honest mistake. As you can see from these examples of criminal negligence, some accidents are too severe to leave to the civil courtroom.
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