What is Manslaughter?
Manslaughter can be described as the unlawful killing of a person without malice aforethought. In other words, there is no intent to seriously cause bodily harm or kill. Since there is no malice aforethought, there will be less moral blame than there is with first or second-degree murder.
Types of Manslaughter
There are two main categories of manslaughter. These include voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
Under California Penal Code Section 192(a), voluntary manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. To be charged with the crime of voluntary manslaughter, the defendants must not have any malicious intent to kill the victim.
Examples include road rage that leads to homicide or when a wife finds her husband having an affair and kills in the act of rage.
Under California Penal Code Section 192(b), involuntary manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being in the commission of an unlawful act. It is an accidental or unintentional homicide that occurred due to criminally reckless or negligent conduct.
For example, if the driver of a dangerous carnival ride fails to ensure the safety of every passenger and an individual dies in the process, the driver could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Involuntary manslaughter often attracts a lesser punishment than voluntary manslaughter. Nonetheless, it is advisable to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help develop a strong defense strategy and fight for a fair hearing.
Some potential defenses to a voluntary or involuntary manslaughter charge include:
- Accidental killing
- Actual innocence
- False accusation
- Simple negligence
- Incapable of intending to kill (for example, in the case of insanity or intoxication)
The potential punishment for manslaughter charges in California include:
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Prison Sentence: Three, six, or eleven years in the California state prison
- Others: Loss of firearm license, community service or labor, counseling programs such as anger management classes.
- Fines: Up to $10,000
- Prison Sentence: Two, three, or four years in county jail.
- Others: Community service or labor, counseling programs such as anger management classes.
Fighting manslaughter charges can be very complicated. Hiring an experienced manslaughter defense attorney, who understands the complex laws and legal system, can help your case achieve the best possible outcome.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
In 2018, there were 16,214 reported cases of murder or non-negligent manslaughter in the United States. During the same year, the number of murders in California amounted to 1,739 victims. Defending your manslaughter charges on your own can put you at risk of suffering the maximum penalties. If convicted, having a criminal record could have a long-lasting negative effect on your freedom and other future opportunities. Retain an experienced California criminal defense attorney today for a chance at a brighter tomorrow.
With 8 years of service on the Los Angeles Police force, I know what it takes to navigate the criminal justice system, and I’ll use my knowledge to help defend you. As a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, I can protect your rights, carry out a comprehensive investigation on your case, and attempt to refute the charges against you with overwhelming evidence.
Contact the McCready Law Group to schedule a case assessment and increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome. I will strategize an effective defense and fight vigorously to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.