What does Manslaughter mean?

Manslaughter is killing without malice or premeditation. Manslaughter, however, can include actions which are considered negligent or reckless and which could have been avoided if the perpetrator had acted appropriately.

Manslaughter can also be further divided into voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. If someone kills someone and the state decides it was provoked, although the defendant has no previous malice towards that person, if the killer intended to cause serious harm in that moment it is considered a voluntary action or voluntary manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another person through the defendant's reckless actions. This could include drunk driving, speeding or any other negligent action which resulted in death.

Penalties for manslaughter, even involuntary manslaughter, can be very serious. For instance, the defendant, if convicted, can still face years in jail. Additionally, if your negligence leads to the death of another person the family of the deceased may also choose to file a wrongful death claim against you to recover compensation for their losses. Compensation can include burial expenses, pain and suffering, medical costs and lost wage compensation.

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B.R. Hicks, PC

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