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What is involuntary manslaughter, and how is it committed?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Homicide crimes are among the most serious in Mississippi and elsewhere. One of those crimes is involuntary manslaughter. If you face charges, you should understand the elements and the importance of having a strong defense.

What is involuntary manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is a crime that occurs when a person unintentionally kills someone else. Often, the victim’s death is caused by negligence or recklessness. There are certain elements that must be in place in order for a person to be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. They include the following:

• The defendant caused the death of another person.

• The defendant’s actions were inherently dangerous or involved a disregard for human life.

• The defendant should have known that their actions posed serious danger to human life.

A person doesn’t necessarily have to commit an illegal act to be guilty of involuntary manslaughter. For example, even performing medical care on a person can result in charges if the person did so in a reckless or negligent manner.

How does involuntary manslaughter differ from voluntary manslaughter?

Intent is the main difference between involuntary and voluntary manslaughter. With involuntary manslaughter, the death is unintentional. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when the perpetrator has the intent to kill another person during the act itself.

What are the penalties for involuntary manslaughter?

If a person is convicted of involuntary manslaughter, they could face up to one year in jail or two to 20 years in prison. A fine of up to $500 is normally ordered as well. The crime is normally classified as a felony.

A solid defense is necessary in a case involving this crime. One of the strongest is to claim self-defense. If the individual can prove they were acting in defense of their own life, it might help their case. Another common defense involves arguing insufficient evidence.

Like all homicide-related crimes, involuntary manslaughter is serious and can adversely affect your life even if you’re found not guilty.