Involuntary Manslaughter Charges
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What Is Involuntary Manslaughter?
What Are the Elements of Involuntary Manslaughter Charges?
Three elements are required for a conviction of involuntary manslaughter:
- A human being was killed because of the defendant’s act
- The specific act was inherently dangers to those around the defendant. The act could be done with what’s called a reckless disregard to human life.
- The defendant should have known or knew the conduct would threaten other people’s lives
What Does the "Defendant’s Act" Mean?
A defendant’s act means the act is what he did or didn’t do. The act was negligent, unlawful or reckless. For example, Daniel loses his job. To cope with the loss, he goes to a bar and consumes five drinks. He isn’t legally intoxicated. He drives home, which is two blocks away, going no faster than the posted speed limit. He hits and kills a pedestrian with his car.
Daniel is the defendant. His act was driving after consuming alcohol. Pedestrian who was a human being was killed because of Daniel’s act.
What Is Considered Reckless or Negligent?
Being reckless refers to the defendant:
- Having no intention to harm anyone
- Knowing a particular action will cause harm
- Performing the action anyway
For example, Daniel knew or should have known drinking and driving was reckless. He also knew driving after consuming alcohol could cause harm to someone. He did it anyway. The pedestrian was killed because of Daniel’s act of driving after drinking alcohol.
Daniel’s act was reckless because he knew or should have known he wasn’t supposed to drink and drive.
What Are the Penalties of Involuntary Manslaughter?
The exact penalties vary depending on jurisdiction. The sentence for involuntary manslaughter is about 16 months depending on the facts of the case. At the state level, it may be the set sentence or at a judges discretion.
Should I Consult an Attorney about Involuntary Manslaughter Charges?
At the federal and state levels, involuntary manslaughter conviction requires jail or prison time. You should speak with a criminal attorney about fighting your involuntary manslaughter charge.
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Last Modified: 11-16-2016 04:51 PM PST
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