Georgia Voluntary Manslaughter Lawyers

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 What Is Voluntary Manslaughter?

The definition of voluntary manslaughter in several legal systems is the killing of a person after being provoked. Although both voluntary manslaughter and murder are homicides, the former is a lesser charge. Murder is the deliberate death of another person with the intent to inflict harm. In most cases, voluntary manslaughter indicates the perpetrator did not specifically intend to murder the victim at the time of the incident.

One of the charges that a defendant may face under the criminal offense of homicide is the legal phrase “voluntary manslaughter.” Despite involving the death of another person, it is regarded as a less serious felony than being accused of murder.

This is mostly due to the requirement that a defendant has the intent (i.e., malice aforethought) to kill or seriously hurt another person in order to be charged with murder. If a defendant is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, on the other hand, it indicates that they did not intend to kill.

Instead, instances of voluntary manslaughter typically occur in the following ways:

  • The murder was carried out in a “sudden fit of wrath” or “hot of passion” moment. For instance, if the defendant comes home to discover their spouse having a sexual relationship with another person and takes swift action, either the spouse or another person dies.
  • In an instance where the defendant used shoddy self-defense; for instance, if the defendant genuinely fears being shot at or hurt by someone pursuing them while brandishing a hot pink water gun, they may respond by fighting back.
  • When committing a crime, like a kidnapping or grand larceny, usually, a state’s laws will specify which crimes qualify.

The murder charge against a defendant may also be reduced to voluntary manslaughter, and as a result, the offender will receive a lighter punishment.

This occurs when a defendant who was previously accused of murder shows that the incident’s circumstances did not fulfill the criteria for murder and that the accusation should instead be reduced to voluntary manslaughter.

Additionally, the crime of involuntary manslaughter is connected to voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter is a less serious crime than voluntary manslaughter, despite the fact that both are classified as a form of homicide.

Last but not least, it’s critical to remember that even if voluntary manslaughter is considered a less serious crime by the law, it is still a very terrible crime. Therefore, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you are accused of committing voluntary manslaughter.

You won’t want to risk your future. Manslaughter is a serious crime that comes with weighty penalties and jail time. Use LegalMatch to find the right lawyer for your needs. A defense lawyer can represent your interests and court and present your case to a judge and jury.

What Are the Differences Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter?

As was already mentioned, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter are both lower offenses that fall under the category of homicide. Additionally, both lack the component of intent (as opposed to murder, which requires it).

Unintentional manslaughter, on the other hand, takes place when a defendant commits a crime that is less serious than a felony, such as a misdemeanor larceny, and it results in a death. This is one of the primary distinctions between the two crimes.

In other words, voluntary manslaughter is not always accidental, but involuntary manslaughter typically involves accidental behavior. Additionally, the defendant in a voluntary manslaughter case frequently acts after being prompted. Contrarily, in the case of involuntary manslaughter, the offender does a risky act of their own free will, such as murdering a person in a drunk driving accident.

What is Voluntary Manslaughter in Georgia?

In Georgia, voluntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of a person that would otherwise be considered murder, but the perpetrator was provoked. The provocation sparked a violent, unexpected, and uncontrollable passion in the person.

Passion is defined under Georgia law as rage, anger, or another strong negative emotion. It must be the same kind of passion that a “reasonable person” would need to experience in order to kill.

Who in Georgia Qualifies as a “Reasonable Person”?

A fictional character is a reasonable person. It is a test to see if a typical individual would respond the same way in the same circumstance. What qualifies as a reasonable person is frequently arbitrary and susceptible to the jury’s opinion.

Why, When I Was Upset, Was I Put on Trial for Murder Rather than Voluntary Manslaughter?

In Georgia, if there is a long period of time between the act of provocation and the death of another person, murder rather than voluntary manslaughter may be the appropriate charge.

This is acceptable because it is implied that the provocation was what led to the person’s acts if they were provoked and then killed right away. When there is enough time between being provoked and the death, it is reasonable to assume that revenge, rather than a fit of rage, is to blame.

What Is Georgia’s Penalty for Voluntary Manslaughter?

In Georgia, the sentence for voluntary manslaughter ranges from one to twenty years. These can depend on various factors which will be analyzed by the court.

Do Voluntary Manslaughter Defenses Exist?

Whether the defendant was provoked is one of the crucial factors in cases of voluntary manslaughter. Provocation can be used to get a murder accusation dropped, and manslaughter instead charged.

For instance, in the first section’s “heat of passion” example, the defendant would have to prove that their ensuing wrath “provoked” them into attacking their spouse or another person.

Other aspects that are taken into account when a defendant raises the provocation defense include:

  • Whether the killing occurred soon after the provocation;
  • Whether the defendant had already cooled off or not;
  • Whether a reasonable person would have typically cooled off at that time span; and
  • Whether or not a reasonable person would have reacted similarly to the defendant in the given situation.

Therefore, the provocation defense may be effective for the offender during their criminal trial, for instance, if a reasonable person would not have calmed down within the same time frame and under the same or similar conditions.

However, it is not clear how long is sufficient for “cooling off.” The courts have never resolved whether 10 minutes or 5 minutes are sufficient for the cooling-off period. Instead, they will consider all of the available information before making a decision.

Should I Speak with an Attorney About My Case?

Understanding the laws governing voluntary manslaughter can be challenging. Additionally, state-by-state variations in voluntary manslaughter laws are common. Therefore, it may be in your best interest to contact a local criminal defense attorney if you have any legal concerns or are accused of voluntary manslaughter.

If you wish to avoid receiving a lengthy prison sentence, you must seek legal assistance in defending yourself against the voluntary manslaughter allegation. To fight your voluntary manslaughter charge, please get in touch with a criminal defense attorney in Georgia as soon as you can.

A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you build your case, give you competent legal counsel, and represent and defend you in court.

To find a local attorney in Georgia now, use LegalMatch. You don’t have to handle your legal problems alone.

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