Manslaughter is frequently confused with homicide or murder, but the charges for these crimes are comprised of very different elements. A person accused of manslaughter in the first degree is charged with a Class B felony. Manslaughter in the second degree is charged as a felony of the third degree.
If manslaughter is charged as an aggravated offense, the first and second degree felony classes remain unchanged. A person convicted of manslaughter may receive between one and three years in prison, in addition to fines.
Depending on the circumstances and the type of felony, the sentence may reach a maximum of 25 years.
There are mandatory minimums for the length of incarceration for manslaughter. To reduce the severity of potential sentences, it is essential to retain competent and experienced criminal defense attorneys. The skilled attorneys at David E. Stanley have years of experience as defense attorneys, but they also rely on the knowledge of the firm’s founding members, who began their careers as prosecutors.
Under Louisiana law, the classification of manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide encompasses eight distinct offenses, including:
Aggravated manslaughter in the first degree; Aggravated manslaughter in the second degree; Manslaughter in the first degree; Manslaughter in the second degree;
Criminally negligent homicide; Aggravated criminally negligent homicide; First-degree vehicular manslaughter; and second-degree vehicular manslaughter.
Any crime involving the death of a person necessitates a thorough investigation of the facts to determine what, if any, charges are necessary. The unique circumstances surrounding a fatality determine the gravity of the crime. However, even if an individual is charged with manslaughter instead of murder, the penalties are severe.
One of the most common manslaughter charges is manslaughter in the second degree, which is applicable when a person causes the death of another while acting with reckless disregard for the risk of causing harm to others.
A person may be charged with manslaughter in the second degree if he knowingly acts with reckless disregard for the potential for serious harm to others posed by his actions.
For this element to be met, the defendant must have acted differently than a reasonable person would have in the same or similar circumstances.
This offense does not, however, require a specific intent to cause harm.
The distinction is somewhat hazy, but essentially, the crime hinges on allegations that the defendant did not intend to cause harm, but did not care enough about the risk of serious bodily injury or death to others to act differently. This is a felony charge that carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
In manslaughter cases, there are effective defenses available to counter the prosecutor’s allegations.
The action that led to the manslaughter charge may have been involuntary, may not have involved reckless disregard, may have been performed in self-defense, or may not have been performed at all due to mistaken identity. In addition, experienced defense attorneys may be able to contest the admissibility of evidence obtained illegally or in violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. While the types of defenses may vary, the necessity of finding the right attorneys does not.
Manslaughter Defense Lawyer
When a crime involves the death of another person, the charges must be taken very seriously.
The seasoned Baton Rouge, LA Criminal Defense Lawyers at David E. Stanley are prepared to begin working on your behalf as soon as you arrive to discuss your case.
In addition, we have no qualms about proceeding to trial and will not recommend an unfair plea bargain just to close the case. Our duty is to ensure that your best interests are protected and that these fees do not ruin you. Have you been accused of murder or manslaughter? If so, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight for your freedom. David E. Stanley is a criminal justice attorney in Baton Rouge, Louisiana who has experience handling these types of cases. He will thoroughly investigate the charges against you and build a strong defense. Contact him today for a free consultation.
David Stanley is the founder and principal of David E. Stanley APLC. Since 1983, Mr. Stanley has successfully practiced law from his office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.