Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person kills another human being. The death is the result of a heat of passion such as walking in on a cheating spouse. The person cannot control their actions and inflicts injury on an individual that causes their death. Nevada has a separate manslaughter charge that criminalizes using animals to kill a human being.

What Am I Being Accused of If I Have Been Charged with NRS 200.240?

That statute makes an owner of an animal that kills criminally responsible for the victim’s death. The owner is charged with manslaughter.

Why Am I Being Charged for What My Pet Did?

In Nevada, any owner or custodian of a dangerous or vicious animal can be charged with manslaughter when they:

  • Knowingly own a dangerous or vicious animal
  • Negligently or willfully allow that animal to go at large
  • The animal, while at large, kills a human being who is not at fault

Will I Be Charged with Voluntary or Involuntary Manslaughter?

Under this law, the pet owner will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

What Is Involuntary Manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is homicide that occurs without any intent, premeditation, or deliberation. An individual dies as a result of the defendant’s actions, but the defendant does not intend for it to happen, such as when the defendant lets their vicious pet roam at large. Involuntary manslaughter may result from criminal negligence or during a misdemeanor crime like petty theft.

What Is the Criminal Sentence If I Am Convicted for a Death Caused by My Pet?

Involuntary manslaughter is a Category D felony in Nevada. The punishment for this crime is:

  • 19 months to four years in state prison
  • $5,000 fine
  • Time in prison and paying a fine

Should I Contact an Attorney about My Case?

While your pet may have gotten you into this predicament, you can still defend yourself against the involuntary manslaughter charge. If you are charged with involuntary manslaughter, contact a Nevada criminal attorney immediately.