Manslaughter in Palm Beach County, Florida
Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of one human being by another without express or implied intent to do injury. The law differentiates between levels of this crime based on the “mens rea” – or state of mind. Manslaughter is broken down into two different categories: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.
Voluntary manslaughter – Caught up in the moment
Voluntary manslaughter occurs when an individual kills someone in the heat of anger or passion or while committing a felony. For example, a killing is committed right after catching a spouse in the act of adultery.
Involuntary manslaughter – Accidental but life-altering
This occurs when a death is caused by serious negligence or a violation of a non-felony like reckless driving (“vehicular manslaughter”). There are two types of involuntary manslaughter charges: criminally negligent manslaughter and unlawful act manslaughter:
A) Criminally Negligent Manslaughter
This occurs when death results from serious negligence. It is most common with professionals who are negligent in the course of their employment. An example is the failure to attempt to save a drowning person by a lifeguard or a doctor fails to notice that a patient’s oxygen supply has been disconnected and the patient dies.
B) Unlawful Act Manslaughter
This occurs when someone causes a death while committing or attempting to commit an unlawful act, usually a misdemeanor. For example, an individual drives over the speed limit on a twisting mountain road, goes off a cliff and his passenger is killed in the crash. The individual can be charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Manslaughter Defense in Palm Beach County, Florida
Taking another person’s life is the most serious crime you can commit whether it is considered murder or manslaughter. The state of Florida is going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law and the prosecution will be relentless because in their eyes you are already guilty. If you are convicted of manslaughter, you will probably face the same penalties as a person convicted of murder, with the exception of the death penalty.
A qualified Palm Beach criminal lawyer will utilize all legal resources, thoroughly investigate the accusations, interview witnesses and create innovative defense strategies to protect you from criminal prosecution. Do not leave yourself exposed during the criminal process. An experienced Palm Beach County murder and manslaughter attorney will fight for your rights and freedom.