Negligent Homicide in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, most acts of homicide are covered under the criminal code. These include justifiable or excused homicide, manslaughter and murder. However, there is one act of homicide that is not addressed in the criminal code, but rather in our state’s vehicle code: negligent homicide.

What Is Negligent Homicide?

Negligent homicide occurs when a person drives recklessly and causes a motor vehicle accident that results in the death of another person. The death does not have to be instantaneous to constitute negligent homicide; if the person dies within one year as a result of injuries sustained in the accident, the reckless driver may be criminally prosecuted.


Negligent homicide is considered a misdemeanor offense. The penalties for conviction can include:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fine of up to $1,000 (or $2,000 if there are other traffic offenses on the defendant’s record within three years of the fatal accident)
  • Potential drivers license revocation
  • Mandatory defensive driver course

DUI vs. Negligent Homicide

It is important to note that a fatal auto accident that occurs as a result of DUI will more than likely NOT result in a charge of negligent homicide. In this situation, the impaired or intoxicated driver would most likely be facing the more severe charge of first degree manslaughter.

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To learn more about negligent homicide or to speak with an attorney regarding your case, contact the Hunsucker Legal Group by calling our office or submitting our online evaluation form. You can schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to learn how we can help you today.

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