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In the state of Florida, manslaughter is one of the most serious homicide charges you can receive, and it can result in serious consequences if you are convicted. Because of how serious these offenses are and the potential consequences they carry, if you are charged with manslaughter in Florida, it’s recommended that you get in touch with our experienced Florida manslaughter lawyers right away.
Based on the circumstances of the offense, you can face different charges. While some may not be as severe as others, if you are found guilty by the prosecution, your sentence may result in costly fines and imprisonment.
If you have been charged with manslaughter or if you are under investigation for this offense, it’s important to contact us and retain our legal services. We can review your case and create a viable defense strategy to help protect your rights and your future.
In the state of Florida, manslaughter is defined as an accidental killing. This is a broad definition; however, a manslaughter offense may be considered voluntary if the person was intentional when committing the crime and it resulted from provocation. You may also be charged with involuntary manslaughter. This is an unintentional killing that is caused by reckless, negligent, or careless behavior.
Manslaughter is not the same thing as murder. If you are charged with manslaughter, it means there is no premeditation for the crime or a disregard for human life (both of which are elements of a murder charge).
Voluntary manslaughter is often considered a crime of passion. What this means is that this offense occurs because of some type of sudden provocation. Some of the most common examples of voluntary manslaughter include domestic violence disputes and bar fights.
Involuntary manslaughter means the killing was accidental and caused by someone’s recklessness or negligence. Some common examples of involuntary manslaughter in Florida include vehicle or vessel homicides, DUI manslaughter, or accidentally firing a gun and causing someone’s death.
You may also face aggravated manslaughter charges. According to Florida Statute § 782.07, this occurs if the victim is considered one of the following:
- A disabled adult
- A law enforcement officer, medical technician on duty, paramedic, or firefighter
- An elderly person
- A minor who is under the age of 18.
Based on the type of crime, charges for manslaughter may range from a second-degree to a first-degree felony in Florida.
Potential Sentences for Manslaughter Convictions in Florida
In the state of Florida, manslaughter is a felony. Charges for this crime will be based on how severe the incident is, the intent of the accused party, the victim, and whether the killing occurred while trying to commit another crime.
Potential penalties for Florida manslaughter convictions include:
- Manslaughter: Second-degree felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
- Aggravated manslaughter: First-degree felony with a maximum fine of $10,000 and a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.
Just remember, the actual sentence you receive for manslaughter charges depends on the details of your case. If you have questions or concerns about your charges, it’s smart to get in touch with our criminal defense attorneys.
Potential Defenses for Manslaughter Charges in Florida
In the state of Florida, manslaughter charges are considered one of the most serious criminal accusations you can face. As experienced Florida manslaughter attorneys, there are several defenses that we can use. Some of the most common defenses are described below.
Sometimes the killing of another person is excusable and, as a result, lawful if one of these circumstances exists:
- If the killing is an accident or misfortune while doing a lawful act. In this respect, “lawful” refers to usual, ordinary caution and with no unlawful intent.
- If the killing occurs by accident due to an act of passion or a sudden provocation.
- If the killing occurs by accident and misfortune caused by sudden combat, if no dangerous weapon is used, and the killing isn’t done in an unusual or cruel manner.
Killing another person is considered justifiable and lawful if it occurs while resisting the attempt of someone to kill you or to commit some type of felony against you.
Also called the justified use of deadly force, cases of self-defense are a defense against a crime of second-degree murder. Panella Law Firm has a successful history of defending clients who used sel-defense. You can read more about our work here.
Common Questions about Florida Manslaughter Charges
If you are facing manslaughter charges, you likely have questions. Some of the most common questions have been answered here.
Why should you hire a Florida manslaughter attorney?
It’s important to remember that manslaughter charges are extremely serious. If you are convicted, it can result in expensive fines and significant prison sentences. You want to make sure you have a quality defense team behind you to protect your future and your rights.
When you contact us, you can feel confident that you will have an aggressive manslaughter attorney representing you who is going to build a powerful defense on your behalf. You should not put your faith in public defenders, since these attorneys usually have numerous cases and minimal time to spend on your situation. Your chances of a reduced sentence or an acquittal increase when you hire an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney.
How do you find the right manslaughter attorney for your case?
It’s important that you make this decision carefully. After all, it’s your freedom and future that are at risk. Do the attorneys seem authoritative and experienced in this area of the law? Does the law firm or individual attorney have a track record of successful cases? You should also read client reviews to find out what others have to say about the legal services they received. Our legal team takes pride in giving each of our clients the full and personal attention they deserve. Our goal is to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases.
What happens after you hire a manslaughter attorney?
The first step after hiring an attorney is to meet with them to discuss and review the charges against you. They will also answer your questions and explain the law, along with how the process works. The next step is for your attorney to begin investigating the charges and arrest. This includes acquiring police reports, talking to eyewitnesses, reviewing all evidence, and taking notes about your version of how things happened.
Once all the information is gathered, and research is done, your attorney will start building a powerful defense to challenge the claims made by the prosecutor and question the evidence while exploring whether there was any police misconduct. Other strategies will be used as well to help create doubt in the mind of the judge or jury.
What do manslaughter charges mean?
In Florida, a manslaughter charge is when death occurs without lawful justification. Manslaughter (unlike murder) does not involve intentional killing. Usually, manslaughter is involuntary or considered a reckless homicide. It can also be the voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child.
For a crime to be considered involuntary manslaughter, the individual must have performed an act in a reckless manner that caused someone else’s death. A person is reckless when they disregard the risk that a certain result will occur. The disregard has to be proven as a gross deviation from the typical standard of care that a reasonable person would have shown in the same situation.
When you face manslaughter charges, the prosecuting attorney will work to show that the action involved would likely result in death or some type of serious bodily harm. Also, even if you did not have the intent to kill, you engaged in acts recklessly with a disregard for serious harm or death.
Cases involving manslaughter charges are extremely serious. Also, just being charged with this crime can result in consequences that will follow you forever, which can ruin your reputation and have a negative impact on your benefits, housing, education, career, and relationships.
What is vehicular manslaughter?
This charge involves the unintentional death of someone else while you are operating a vehicle. It includes motor vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, and snowmobiles. It is also a case of reckless homicide if a death occurs by a vehicle going airborne.
Fighting Florida Manslaughter Charges with the Help of Our Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested and charged with manslaughter in Florida, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney. Our legal team is ready to investigate your case and build a strong defense to help protect your rights.
If you are convicted of manslaughter in Florida, it carries serious penalties and can impact you for the rest of your life. We are here to help. Our legal team will help you have the best possible outcome for your case.
You can trust us to have your best interest in mind and to defend you aggressively. We understand the huge impact the manslaughter charges and a conviction can have on your life. Get in touch today to get started with our legal team.