Homicide detectives have a serious job to do when they are working to determine whether there was a criminal element to a killing or not. Many people don't realize that not all homicides are the same thing. In fact, there are some homicides that aren't criminal matters at all.
The homicides that are criminal matters are divided into two large categories with classifications beneath each one. Murder and manslaughter charges are the two primary categories. Under murder, there are degrees of the crime with first degree being the most serious. Involuntary and voluntary are the two classifications of manslaughter.
A homicide's classification is based on the circumstances of the crime. A premeditated homicide is likely going to fall under the classification of a first-degree murder. A drunk driving crash that results in a fatality might end up being charged as a manslaughter case.
One thing that people who have been accused of taking another human's life must prepare for is the possibility of a civil case. This case stems from an action by the victim's family. It doesn't matter what the outcome of the criminal matter is, you can still face a wrongful death claim.
If you are facing any type of legal action stemming from a homicide, you should find out what options you have for handling the matter. The earlier you explore these, the more time you will have to consider each one. This might help you make an informed decision. Trying to put off thinking about the legal actions against you might lead to you having to rush to determine what you are going to do.