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What is involuntary manslaughter?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2021 | Felony Offenses |

The act of killing another person in Florida is not always considered murder. In situations where a person’s life is being threatened, for example, the victim may need to kill their attacker in self-defense. Manslaughter is another type of killing that is not legally considered murder.

Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter

The two types of manslaughter felonies are voluntary and involuntary. Unlike self-defense, manslaughter is a crime with penalties. However, it is not as serious as a murder charge, and the penalties are much less severe.

Voluntary manslaughter is the more serious of the two manslaughter charges because it involves an intentionally violent act against another person. However, that act was not premeditated, and it may have been provoked by the victim or committed during the heat of passion.

Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, is a completely unintentional act that resulted in someone’s death. While involuntary manslaughter does not involve any intention to harm, it does involve negligence or recklessness. An example of involuntary manslaughter could be the unsafe handling of a firearm.

Excessive self-defense can sometimes be manslaughter

Perfect self-defense, in which a victim disables their attacker to eliminate a threat to their life, is not illegal in Florida. If an excessive amount of force is used, though, this could result in a manslaughter charge. For example, if one shot disables an attacker, firing more shots could be considered illegal.

Penalties for an involuntary manslaughter charge

An involuntary manslaughter charge can have a sentence of up to 15 years in prison. If a defendant has a case for self-defense, it may be in their best interest to present their self-defense arguments to the court. There are also cases where a complete accident that was not caused by recklessness or negligence can be considered an excusable homicide.