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Criminal Negligence Charges


Criminal negligence: it’s the kind of charge that leaves defendants with a plethora of emotions. In addition to feelings of anger (I didn’t do it) or regrets (I should have been paying better attention) about what allegedly led to another person’s suffering or death, feelings of fear and anxiety about how criminal negligence charges could impact one’s future weigh heavily, as well.

What Constitutes Criminal Negligence? 

The thing that makes criminal negligence unlike a lot of other criminal charges is that it generally involves defendants who caused egregious harm without the intention of doing so. Most times, a horrible, yet preventable accident has occurred, and prosecutors are determined to pin it on someone. When charging criminal negligence, a prosecutor must prove that one’s actions were reckless to the point that they led to serious injury or death.  The defendant must have shown a callous disregard for others’ well-being, and any reasonable person in the same situation would have known better and behaved differently, avoiding the injuries or deaths that occurred. Criminal negligence could lead to charges many areas:

A caregiver or medical professional who is accused of administering a lethal dose of medication to a patient, who neglects to respond appropriately to a patient’s complaints, who over-prescribe opiates, who makes surgical errors, or who is connected to any number of medical mishaps could face charges of criminal negligence.

Adults whose negligence leads to the harm or death of a person could result in such charges. An adult who leaves a loaded gun accessible to children could face charges if the children’s use of the weapon leads to injuries or fatalities, for example. Likewise, a parent who leaves a child in a hot car could be charged with criminal negligence.

A driver who texts while behind the wheel and subsequently causes a collision might be charged with criminal negligence if it resulted in serious injuries or fatalities. The same goes for a driver who speeds through a school zone or who drives while impaired.

A person who brings an aggressive dog with a history of biting to an off-leash park risks facing charges if that dog attacks someone.

A company that knowingly ignores OSHA safety guidelines, particularly if a previous warning has been issued, may be charged with criminal negligence.


Clearly, criminal negligence occurs in all kinds of circumstances, which means that a guilty verdict can result in a wide scope of penalties, ranging from probation or a prison sentence to hefty court fines and restitution to the victim.  Some offenders might lose privileges (such as the ability to drive or to own a firearm), or be sentenced to community service. The domino effects could include consequences such as the loss of a job or professional licenses, alienation by family, friends, or neighbors, depression, anxiety, and critical adaptations to the future you may have been planning on.

Defending Charges of Criminal Negligence 

Criminal negligence is a serious charge.  The experienced Kissimmee criminal defense attorneys at Salazar & Kelly Law Group are prepared to fight for the best possible outcomes for you.  Schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.

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