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Understanding the definition of involuntary manslaughter

Being found to have caused the death of another will always be charged as a very serious crime. However, there is a huge difference between intentionally shooting someone with a rifle and unintentionally causing a car crash that leads to a person's death, for example. This is why there are many different crimes that all address situations in which a person could have been found guilty of causing the death of another.

A person can be charged with involuntary manslaughter in a situation in which it can be shown that due to the person's negligent actions, death was caused. For this reason, involuntary manslaughter can sometimes be referred to as criminally negligent homicide. If you are concerned about being charged with manslaughter, you should know the difference between involuntary and voluntary manslaughter, and understand the ways you can go about defending yourself.

What is voluntary manslaughter?

Voluntary manslaughter is a less serious crime than murder, but it is very different in nature than involuntary manslaughter. A person can be charged with voluntary manslaughter when their impulsive and intentional actions resulted in the death of another. This could be a situation in which a person throws a heavy object at their spouse in a heated argument, and fatally injures them. The action was most likely not premeditated, and it was the product of an intensely emotional situation. But it was still a voluntary act.

What is involuntary manslaughter?

A person charged with involuntary manslaughter is often charged in relation to a fatal car accident. For example, a person may have been engaging in drunk driving, which, while being extremely negligent, does not carry with it any malicious intent to cause injury or death. If the drunk driver causes a car accident which leads to another driver's death, the drunk driver will likely be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

What are possible defenses to involuntary manslaughter?

One of the most common defenses to an involuntary manslaughter accusation is to argue that the negligence you exhibited did not cause the person's death. In other words, you may be able to show that the person would have died even if you did not act negligently.

If you are facing involuntary manslaughter charges in Missouri, you must take action to aggressively defend yourself.

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Understanding the definition of involuntary manslaughter | The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith