What is Manslaughter?
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another person without prior intentions to kill a particular person. Manslaughter is usually the charge of the prosecution when the killer did not plan to kill anyone.
Two Types of Manslaughter
There are two main types of manslaughter, voluntary and involuntary.
1) Voluntary Manslaughter
Voluntary manslaughter is when a person intentionally kills another person after "adequate provocation."
What is Adequate Provocation?
Adequate provocation is something that is sufficient to incite a normal person to sudden and intense passion. The passion then makes the person lose their self control. Courts commonly accept these types of Adequate Provocation:
- Situations where there is a threat of deadly force
- Where a person finds his or her spouse in bed with another person
2) Involuntary Manslaughter
Involuntary manslaughter is when a person unintentionally kills another person due to a lack of care. Involuntary manslaughter generally occurs on two occasions:
- Where there is a death attributed to carelessness
- Where a death happens during a crime lesser than a felony
- Example: Vehicular Manslaughter - where a death occurs during a traffic violation such as driving under the influence, speeding, etc.
What Can You Do if You Have Been Accused of Manslaughter?
The difference between manslaughter and murder can be subtle. However, since there is a great difference in punishment, you should consult a criminal defense attorney who understands your state laws and can help you formulate a defense.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 02-16-2012 12:04 PM PST
Did you find this article informative?