Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional homicide of a person. It may be the result of criminal negligence or occur in the commission of some other crime, like reckless driving. What happens if somebody dies during a fight? Or in a dangerous home? The law can become more complicated.
Are you being charged with involuntary manslaughter? This is what you need to know before you go in for your trial.
First, What Is Criminal Negligence?
Criminal negligence is considered unreasonable, and the specific level of negligence differs from place to place. In order to be deemed criminally negligent, you do not need to have committed a crime, which can get confusing.
For example, it is not illegal or criminal to ride a bicycle, but if you ride a bicycle down a sidewalk at a high rate of speed into a huge crowd of people, you could still be criminally negligent if somebody gets injured.
Criminal negligence does not always have to stem from something somebody did. It can also stem from what they did not do. For example, a parent who fails to provide a safe environment for his or her child could be accused of negligence because they allowed their child to ingest bleach.
What Is Manslaughter?
While the previous question covers the "involuntary" aspect, you might still wonder about manslaughter. Manslaughter is unintentional homicide, but each state may have different rules regarding the line between manslaughter and murder.
How Can You Fight Back Against These Charges?
If you face involuntary manslaughter charges, you need a strong defense. You may argue that you were not acting negligently. You may also argue that your actions did not result in the individual's death and that they may have resulted from somebody else's actions. You might even be able to argue that you were acting in self-defense or out of necessity.
What Is the Punishment for Involuntary Manslaughter?
The punishment for involuntary manslaughter differs from state to state, but it often includes a prison sentence of several years. In some states, the judge has the right to examine the extent of the case and determine any extenuating circumstances.
What Should You Do If You Face Charges?
If you face involuntary manslaughter charges, you have rights. In order to learn more about your rights and defend yourself in court, you should speak with an attorney. A criminal defense law attorney will help you fight back against these charges.