Protecting Your Liberty. Defending Your Rights.
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  » Voluntary vs. involuntary manslaughter: What you need to know

Voluntary vs. involuntary manslaughter: What you need to know

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Manslaughter is killing someone without the intention to do so. Unlike murder, which takes planning and execution, manslaughter is considered less culpable because of the lack of intent.

However, it does not mean that you should take manslaughter charges lightly. There is the possibility of spending considerable time in jail if convicted. If you are facing such charges, here is what you need to know about the different types of manslaughter.

What are the differences?

If you were provoked and killed someone out of sudden and intense emotions, you could be facing voluntary manslaughter charges. On the other hand, if your action were not intended to kill, you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

For instance, if you find your spouse in a compromising situation with your close friend, you might act out of rage at that moment, and someone may end up dead. That is voluntary manslaughter since your actions were aimed at causing harm. For involuntary manslaughter, your actions should not be aimed at causing another individual harm. If a building owner fails to install smoke detectors and people die in a fire accident or a drunk driver hits and kills a pedestrian, that would amount to involuntary manslaughter.

How much time are you facing?

Voluntary manslaughter carries stiffer penalties since it is considered a first-degree felony and carries a sentence of a jail term of not more than 20 years. Involuntary manslaughter is graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree, and the possible sentence includes a maximum of 5 years in jail.

There is a lot on the line

All your efforts should be focused on successfully going against your charges. A conviction could not only send you to prison, but it could also affect your life even after you have done time. Fortunately, with a solid defense strategy, it does not have to come to that.

You can increase the odds of a favorable outcome by learning more about such cases and making informed decisions throughout the trial.