Voluntary And Involuntary Manslaughter
Manslaughter involves killing another person in a state of mind that is considered not as severe as murder. This can be a confusing accusation to understand. The main difference between the two is that a murder charge suggests that the crime was intentional and in some instances premeditated.
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Essentially, a voluntary manslaughter accusation suggests that you had the intent to kill or cause serious injury but the liability of the defendant is reduced by the circumstance. An example would be a “heat of passion” killing. Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, means there was no intent to kill or cause serious injury, but death results from reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others.
Criminal Classification Of Manslaughter Charges
Manslaughter can also be classified into first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, as well as criminal vehicular homicide:
- First-degree manslaughter — This charge is filed in cases where it is alleged that a death was caused in heat of passion or while committing an assault or attempting to commit a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense.
- Second-degree manslaughter — A death was caused by negligence — there was an unreasonable risk (for example, shooting another with a firearm as a result of negligent hunting or allowing a vicious animal off of a property or negligently failing to keep it properly confined).
- Criminal vehicular homicide — This is when negligent driving causes the death of another person, including if you were driving recklessly or in a grossly negligent manner, if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DWI), if you were involved in a hit-and-run or if you leave the scene of the accident or if you knew that the car you were driving was defectively maintained and drove it anyway.