Negligent homicide is a charge brought against people, who by inaction, allow others under their care or presence intentionally to die. This offense mostly concerns itself with the death of small infants or children, the handicapped, or the elderly. An example of such a case is when an elderly person is allowed to accumulate bedsores, as they are not helped out of a couch or bed for a prolonged period of time and die as a result of necrotic tissue. If a more able person, often a son or daughter, were present or expected to be present during the time when the elderly person was accumulating bedsores, they may be found liable of negligent homicide, as their inaction and blatant disregard for human life resulted in the death of someone under their care.
Negligent homicide generally only applies if a pattern of negligence resulted in the death of the individual. Turning one's back on a child while he/she falls into a well, while tragic and a result of a moment of negligence, would be considered a horrible accident and a hard lesson, not negligent homicide. This offense is considered less serious than first and second degree murder, in the sense that someone guilty of this offense can expect a more lenient sentence, often with imprisonment time comparable to manslaughter.