What Should You Know About Involuntary Manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is not the same as murder or the other homicides possible. The big difference is that there is no intention to kill someone and there is no premeditation. Unlawful and lawful acts carried out in a reckless or negligent manner are included.

Usually, involuntary manslaughter will lead to lighter penalties. Even so, if you are convicted, there are penalties you will have to deal with. Getting the help of attorneys like https://thedefenders.net/ will be necessary. Your sentence can still be pretty long and you do not want to have to deal with it.

Federal Law

To keep things as simple as possible, to be convicted of manslaughter, the prosecutor needs to prove that you committed an unlawful act that did lead to someone’s death but you did not actually want this to happen. To put it as simple as possible, when you cause a death and you act without caution or recklessly, it is involuntary manslaughter. Officially, this is a Class C felony.

When the charge comes at a federal level, there are some strict sentencing guidelines that need to be respected. The standard base penalty is of 10 to 16 months imprisonment. Usually, if the criminal record of the defendant is extensive, the minimum sentencing will increase. Some other factors that will influence the sentence are:

  • How many involuntary manslaughter counts you face.
  • If other criminal charges exist.
  • If you were operating motor vehicles while under the influence.
  • If you have past involuntary manslaughter convictions.
  • If the conduct is reckless or criminal negligence.

State Law

In most US states, involuntary manslaughter is seen as a felony of Class C or D. Usually, every single state will propose some sentence ranges. It is the judge that will choose exactly what sentence to offer.

Normally, courts will think about mitigating and aggravating factors when sentencing decisions are made. In most cases, the resulting sentences are going to include specific penalties, like prison time, fines, and sometimes counseling is required. Even so, there can be huge variations from one state to the next.

Aggravating Factors

Every single involuntary manslaughter case is unique. There are some factors that will influence how severe the crime was. It is the judge that will take them into consideration. This includes mitigating factors like:

  • Circumstances and facts related to the crime
  • Lack of criminal history
  • The ability to reform
  • Physical or mental illnesses
  • Showing remorse
  • Accepting responsibility

Also, some aggravating factors exist, like:

  • Reckless conduct that directly contributed to the outcome of the crime
  • Killing a person who has a mental or physical illness
  • Killing a minor
  • Killing a senior
  • Reckless behavior
  • A long criminal history
  • Killing military or law enforcement personnel

As you can see, involuntary manslaughter might seem to be less serious than a homicide charge and the truth is that it is. However, this does not mean we are not talking about a criminal charge. It is very important to get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney whenever facing such a charge. You need all the help you can get.

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