What are some examples of gross offenses

When is negligent homicide?

Penalty Catalog
negligent homicideFine
Imprisonment up to 5 years

To be more precise Delimitation of the facts To take into account, a discussion of the criminal offense of negligent homicide should take place at this point.

The differentiation is particularly important for the reason that it is repeatedly misleading factual terms such as the "Negligent bodily harm resulting in death" appear in everyday language.

However, this is the Mixing of two factsthat does not appear relevant or possible under German criminal law: negligent bodily harm and the Bodily harm resulting in death.

What is the distinguish between the two facts and why a "negligent bodily harm resulting in death" is actually considered "negligent homicide" is to be punished, you will find out below.

What is negligent homicide? To delimit the terms

It is not always easy to keep track of the German legal system. There are numerous statutory regulations, but there is every action is shaped by individual patternsthat cannot be easily pressed into the templates of the legal texts. This is also the case with bodily harm.

Still there are some Distinctions in the Criminal Code (StGB)that make the offense of "negligent bodily harm resulting in death" a unreal factotum be let.

The fundamental difference between the two facts combined here is that Debt relationship: While an act committed negligently the Neglect of the necessary due diligence is based on, is always on in the event of bodily harm resulting in death Intent to be recognized in order to be able to reach a conviction. One is enough conditional intent.

Bodily harm resulting in death describes willful bodily harm according to Section 227 of the Criminal Code. The Simultaneous existence of negligence with recognizable intent is impossible. A conviction for an offense that is “negligent (willful) bodily harm resulting in death” is thus in fact excluded.

If a victim dies as a result of negligent bodily harm - for example in road traffic - then there is one Conviction for negligent homicide according to § 222 StGB to accept.

What does negligent homicide mean? Definition according to the StGB

Generally an act committed negligently Not to be prosecuted. But one thing is true exception exactly when the offense is explicitly made a criminal offense even in the case of negligence. As for the negligent homicide has its own section in the penal code finds, this offense can be considered one of the numerous exceptions.

But what exactly does negligence actually mean? The term is basically used to denote the disregard and neglect of the necessary due diligence - especially in road traffic - and is best understood in contrast to intent understand. In this case, the agent has the Committing the offense willingly and possibly also knowingly executed. In case of negligent homicide, personal injury or other Negligence can the Willing to injure the victim, on the other hand, is excluded become.

But there are further gradationsthat can determine negligent behavior:

  • simple negligence: Failure to exercise due diligence in traffic
  • gross negligence: Failure to exercise due diligence to a considerable extent
  • deliberate negligence (luxuria): The actor knows about the possibility of the consequences of his actions, but trusts in the non-fulfillment, true to the motto: "Nothing will happen!"
  • unconscious negligence (negligentia): The perpetrator did not consider the possible consequences, but could have averted them by observing the traffic rules.

The descriptions show that especially in traffic accidents negligence comes into play. If a road user disregards the generally applicable traffic rules and thus does not fulfill his duty of care, negligent bodily harm is present in the event of a crash with personal injury.

The victim dies, then the fact of negligent homicide is an aggravating factor and outweighs the former. But what about a conviction for negligent homicide?

Although negligent homicide occurs mainly in traffic, it can, however also expand to other everyday areas of life: for example on occupational safety on construction sites or in workshops as well as when handling weapons - or leaving them in unauthorized hands - ultimately in all areas in which the integrity of people is based on observing basic safety measures and guidelines.

The penalty for negligent homicide according to § 222 StGB

"Anyone who causes the death of a person through negligence is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine." (§ 222 StGB)

It is therefore possible that the death of a person as a result of an accident in a subsequent criminal proceeding with only one Fine is punished. The decisive factors for the assessment of the penalty are respective circumstances of the incident to be negotiated. Also the Degree of negligence can induce the judges to determine the upper or lower range of the sentence with regard to the individual punishment.

For example, if an accident driver stood with one Accident resulting in death while drinking alcohol, so he can be accused of negligence to a particularly serious extent - and thus one grossly negligent homicide.

In the event of a fatal accident, it is also decisive how the person who caused the accident then reacted. The unauthorized removal from the scene of the accident - Driver or accident escape - can also have an aggravating effect. In such a case, there would also be an additional offense of escaping an accident, which usually also has criminal consequences. A prison sentence is then more likely.

Minimum penalty for negligent homicide: The minimum penalty for negligent homicide is according to § 222 StGB in the case of a fine. It must be decided in each individual case how many daily rates are to be allocated to the perpetrator. The amount of a single daily rate can be determined based on the income of the accused. If you have a fine of 90 daily rates or more, you are deemed to have a criminal record - It does not matter how high the final fine may actually be.

Who should report negligent homicide?

In contrast to negligent bodily harm, the homicidal offense based on it is involved not an offense that requires an application by the victim or their legal representative. The negligent homicide is considered an official offense and not a petition ex officio reported by the public prosecutor's office and prosecuted.

Is the attempt also punishable?

In the penal code there are numerous offenses and crimes that already include the pure intent or attempt to result in criminal prosecution. Contrary to the attempted assault, however, it is not possible in the case of negligent factsto acknowledge an attempt.

Because: The attempt always implicitly presupposes an intention on the part of the agent. Since intent and negligence are mutually exclusive, “attempted negligent homicide” is in fact not possible.

Incidentally: It is not permissible to use the term "Negligent manslaughter" to be used synonymously for the facts dealt with here. Also the Manslaughter stands out as a deliberate crime and therefore cannot be negligent at the same time.

Negligent homicide - statute of limitations for prosecution

The Limitation periods in criminal law are based on those stipulated by law Maximum penalties for a crime. The corresponding levels are laid down in Section 78, Paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code. To Section 78 (3) number 4 of the Criminal Code is negligent homicide with a maximum statutory penalty of five years with a Limitation period of five years as well occupied.

That means: A suspect can still be prosecuted for negligent homicide up to five years after the offense. If a perpetrator escapes after a fatal accident in order to avoid the consequences, he must fear for at least another five years that he will be punished for negligent homicide after all - in addition to that for the runaway.

Negligent homicide by omission: If a doctor or other medical personnel is charged with negligent homicide, in many cases it is a homicide by omission. That means, that the necessary due diligence was supposedly neglected here with regard to the necessary medical care. Whether now through Incorrect medication administration, failure to recognize an acute emergency or operating errors caused by negligence: A doctor can also commit negligent homicide in the course of his work.
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When is negligent homicide?
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