top of page

Murder or Homicide Charges

Criminal homicide is the unlawful killing of another person. In Tennessee, there are several different homicide-related charges that an accused individual may face. These charges include first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, reckless homicide, and criminal negligent homicide.


First-Degree Murder in Tennessee

First-degree murder is defined as the "premeditated and intentional killing of another." It can also be defined as a killing committed during certain types of felonies as well as any killing committed as the result of a bomb. In the state of Tennessee, conviction of first-degree murder carries life in prison, life without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty.

Second-Degree Murder in Tennessee

Second-degree murder is defined as the "knowing killing of another." This can also be charged in a killing that resulted from the unlawful distribution of any Schedule I or II drug, if the drug was the proximate cause of death of the user. Second-degree murder is a Class A felony carrying a range of punishment from between 15 to 40 years in prison.

Manslaughter, Reckless Homicide, and Criminally Negligent Homicide in Tennessee


Voluntary manslaughter is defined as the "intentional or knowing killing of another in a state of passion produced by adequate provocation sufficient to lead a reasonable person to act in an irrational manner." Voluntary manslaughter is a Class C felony and carries a range of punishment from between three to 15 years in prison. Reckless homicide is the "reckless killing of another." It is a Class D felony carrying between 2 to 12 years imprisonment. Criminally negligent homicideis defined as "criminally negligent conduct that results in death." Criminally negligent homicide is a Class E felony carrying between one to six years in state prison.

bottom of page