In many jurisdictions, voluntary manslaughter is defined as a killing of a human being resulting from being provoked. Voluntary manslaughter is a lesser charge than murder, although both are forms of homicide. Murder is the killing of another human being done with malice, which is the intent to kill. Voluntary manslaughter generally means the person did not have a distinct intent to kill another individual at the time the death happened.

How Does Georgia Define Voluntary Manslaughter?

In Georgia, voluntary manslaughter is the death of a human being that would be considered murder, but the person was provoked into their actions. The provocation caused the person to react in a violent, sudden, and irresistible passion. According to Georgia law, passion means rage, anger, or some kind of extreme negative emotion. This irresistible passion must be the same type of passion a “reasonable person” must feel in order to kill.

Who Is Considered a “Reasonable Person” in Georgia?

A reasonable person is a fictional person. It is a standard used to determine if a normal person in the same situation would act the same way. Often, what constitutes a reasonable person is subjective and depends on the jury’s interpretation.

Why Was I Charged with Murder Instead of Voluntary Manslaughter When I Was Angry?

In Georgia, if there is a significant amount of time between provocation and the killing of another individual, then the perpetrator could be convicted of murder instead of voluntary manslaughter. This is allowed because a person must be provoked and immediately kill for there to be an implication that the provocation was the cause of the person’s actions. A sufficient period of time between being provoked and the death creates an assumption the death did not occur in a heat of passion, but revenge.

What Is the Punishment for Voluntary Manslaughter in Georgia?

Anyone convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Georgia faces one to 20 years in prison.

Should I Contact a Lawyer About My Case?

Defending yourself against a voluntary manslaughter charge requires legal assistance if you want to avoid a long prison sentence. Contact a Georgia criminal lawyer immediately about fighting your voluntary manslaughter charge.