All You Need To Know About Criminal Negligence

Criminal negligence occurs when a person ignores the safety of others even when they are aware of the risks and dangers. You may have heard the term “negligence” various times in civil cases, but those cases do not involve a criminal conviction. Criminal negligence is when someone does a criminal act with the intention of hurting someone else. 

Some common examples of criminal negligence include manslaughter, homicide, storage of firearms, etc. If you have been accused of a criminal act, it is imperative that you contact a New Westminster criminal lawyer immediately. Such charges should not be taken lightly, as they can ruin your future. The legal penalties of certain crimes can permanently impact your life. 

What is criminal negligence?

Criminal negligence is when a person disregards another person’s safety by ignoring a serious risk of harm, and a reasonable person would have perceived the risk if they were in such a situation. The general standard of care states how one must act around another person, and a gross deviation from that often results in criminal negligence. 

It is important to note that criminal negligence involves the following elements: 

  • It is more than a mistake or misunderstanding.
  • The defendant has knowledge of the danger. 

Here are some examples of criminal negligence: 

  • Firing a gun in a park while a celebration is happening, and several people, along with kids, are present.
  • Leaving a child unattended in a car during a hot day and causing them to experience a stroke. 
  • Speeding while texting or being distracted by something else.
  • Hitting or swiping at someone’s hand when they are holding a loaded gun. 

How is criminal negligence different from civil negligence?

Criminal negligence differs from civil negligence in various ways. 

  • The burden of proof: Criminal negligence requires the prosecution to remove the entire reasonable doubt, whereas civil cases must be proved by “a mere preponderance of the evidence.”
  • The parties: Criminal cases are brought by government bodies, whereas civil cases are more of a private matter between two or more parties.
  • The consequences: Civil lawsuits require the liable party to compensate the victim with money, whereas in a criminal case, the guilty must pay fines or serve time in jail. 

Defending a criminal negligence claim 

If you have been charged with a criminal negligence claim in New Westminster, you must prepare a strong defense with the help of an experienced attorney. You must show that the act was an honest mistake or accident or was not severe enough to cause serious harm to somebody. 

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