In our last post we started a discussion about the different types of criminal homicide charges that a defendant may face. After first-degree murder and second-degree murder, there is the somewhat less severe charge of voluntary manslaughter.
The main idea behind this type of homicide is that the individual had an intent to kill but it was done in the “heat of passion.” This means that the reason for the murder was something that may have caused a reasonable person to become emotional. A possible example of this is when someone honestly but unreasonably believes a situation requires deadly force. That person may be charged with voluntary manslaughter.
The final type of criminal homicide is considered involuntary manslaughter. Our readers may have heard about this type of charge as it relates to drunk driving deaths. This type of charge usually has to do with someone dying as a result of another person’s “reckless disregard for human life.” These situations often involve motorists who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The death related to this type of charge is considered unintended.
Although there are different levels of criminal homicide, being charged with any of them can be an extremely frightening experience. Those facing this type of charge may feel they have no chance of successfully resolving their case. In these types of situations, it is important to immediately work with a criminal defense attorney who knows the ins and outs of the legal system. Doing so may be one of the most important steps toward protecting your future.