On television, you have probably seen homicide detectives working cases. What some people might not realize is that the term "homicide" doesn't automatically mean that there was an illegal action involved in the case. In the simplest of terms, a homicide is any unnatural death of an individual. This can be because of an illegal action by someone, such as murder, but it can also be due to an accident, such as a fatal car wreck.
The purpose of the homicide detective is to determine what happened so they can figure out what to do about the death. It is fully possible that no criminal charges will be filed even though the homicide team is called in to check out the situation.
There are several different types of charges that are possible if a person's death is ruled the result of a criminal action, such as a reckless discharge of a firearm. It is possible that someone will be charged with murder, but manslaughter is also possible. The exact circumstances of the case will dictate what needs to be done.
The criminal statutes in this state have specific criteria for various charges. When looking into how to charge a case, the person making the decision will determine whether they feel the circumstances match or exceed the criteria.
In some cases, they will charge a person with the most serious charge possible and then leave the possibility of a lesser charge open. For example, a person might be charged with first-degree murder, but there might be the option of moving to second-degree murder.
As you make decisions in homicide cases, be sure that you have evaluated all options. Choosing the one that you feel is the best for you is usually the way you should go.