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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



homicide n

[Latin homicidium, from homo human being + caedere to cut, kill]
1 : a person who kills another
2 : the killing of one human being by another compare manslaughter, murder

criminal homicide
: homicide committed by a person with a criminal state of mind (as intentionally, with premeditation, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence)

deliberate homicide
: homicide caused purposely and knowingly used in Montana

excusable homicide
: homicide that is committed by accident or misfortune by a person doing a lawful act by lawful means with usual and ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent and that is excused under the law with no criminal punishment imposed
: justifiable homicide in this entry

felonious homicide
: homicide committed without justification

homicide by misadventure
: homicide that occurs as the result of an accident caused by a person doing a lawful act with no unlawful intent

justifiable homicide
: homicide that is committed in self-defense, in defense of another and esp. a member of one's family or sometimes in defense of a residence, in preventing a felony esp. involving great bodily harm, or in performing a legal duty and that is justified under the law with no criminal punishment imposed
: excusable homicide in this entry

negligent homicide
: homicide caused by a person's criminally negligent act

reckless homicide
: homicide caused by a person's reckless acts NOTE: In Illinois, involuntary manslaughter committed by use of a motor vehicle is called reckless homicide.

ve·hic·u·lar homicide
: homicide committed by the use of a vehicle (as an automobile or boat)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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