Murder is the first degree is homicide with premeditation, deliberation, and malice. Murder in the second degree is homicide done without premeditation and deliberation. But below that, Washington State also has degree of manslaughter under the category of murder.
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of an individual done without premeditation, malice, deliberation. In essence, it was an unlawful killing done recklessly and/or with criminal negligence. It’s not considered murder because there are mitigating circumstances. Manslaughter includes voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
In Washington State, a defendant is guilty of this crime when they:
No. Voluntary manslaughter is the act of killing done with adequate provocation, like a “sudden fit of rage.” This passion causes someone to kill without intending or planning to do so. Another common phrase is “the heat of passion” provocation, and it is most often linked for situations when the defendant found their spouse in bed with another person.
Second degree manslaughter involves criminal negligence, which means that the defendant did not intend to kill another person. Instead the death was due to a lack of care. Whereas first degree manslaughter involves being reckless when causing someone’s death. Reckless behavior is when the defendant should have known that their behavior will very likely cause injury and/or death to another person.
It’s vital to talk to a Washington criminal lawyer about possible defenses to use for your first degree manslaughter charge.
Last Modified: 06-25-2018 06:20 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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