Voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter are two less serious murder charges that you can face if you cause the death of another person. The element of malice is not a requirement for either of these crimes.
Both of these charges are serious felonies under Georgia law, but they are less serious than a regular murder charge or a felony murder charge. You will not face the death penalty or even life imprisonment if you are convicted of either voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.
What is voluntary manslaughter?
Voluntary manslaughter is typically referred to as a “heat of passion “ crime. The elements of malice and premeditation are absent in a voluntary manslaughter case. A typical example of a voluntary manslaughter case is a wife who unexpectedly discovers her husband in an intimate encounter with another woman. This discovery incites a sudden, violent and irresistible passion in the wife and provokes her to take immediate action that results in the death of her husband. In order to qualify as voluntary manslaughter instead of murder, there must be no delay between the provocation and the killing. In the event that there is a delay between the provocation and the killing, the killing can be attributed to deliberate revenge, and you can be charged with murder. The punishment for voluntary manslaughter is one to 20 years in prison.
What is involuntary manslaughter?
As its name suggests, involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing. Typically, an involuntary manslaughter charge arises from reckless or careless behavior. Even though you did not intend to cause the death of another person, because your actions resulted in a death you can be charged with involuntary manslaughter. As you might imagine, involuntary manslaughter cases are usually traumatic for both the victim’s family as well as the accused person’s family. The punishment for involuntary manslaughter is one to ten years in prison.
How do I protect my rights if I’m facing a manslaughter charge?
The more serious the crime, the more important it is to ensure that your rights are sufficiently protected. Additionally, more serious crimes are often accompanied by more complex defense strategies. For these reasons, it’s important to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney right away. Call The Turner Firm now for a free assessment of your case!