The unlawful homicide of another person that does not rise to murder, is called manslaughter. While homicide is the unlawful killing of a human being, manslaughter is a homicide with some mitigating circumstances to make it a less serious charge than murder. In general, there are two types of manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is a homicide that occurs because of adequate provocation and involuntary manslaughter is a homicide that occurs because of criminal negligence.

How Does Washington State Define Manslaughter in the Second Degree?

Second degree manslaughter occurs when a person dies due to the defendant’s criminal negligence.

How is this different from Manslaughter in the First Degree?

Manslaughter in the first degree occurs when a defendant recklessly causes someone’s death or causes bodily injury to a mother and kills her unborn child. First degree manslaughter is a class A felony, which carries the strongest possible punishment under Washington State law.

Is Manslaughter in the Second Degree the Same Charge as Murder in the Second Degree?

No. Second degree murder is not premeditated and done without malice. It includes deaths that occurred during the course of a felony committed by the defendant.

What is the Penalty for Second Degree Manslaughter?

A defendant convicted of second degree manslaughter will face penalties associated with a class B felony. It’s punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

Should I Discuss My Manslaughter in the Second Degree Charge with a Lawyer?

Yes. It’s important to discuss your criminal charge with a Washington criminal lawyer to understand how you can resolve this charge.