St. Louis Manslaughter Lawyer
What is the difference between manslaughter & murder?
Although most people use the term "murder" to describe all unlawful acts of killing, it is important to understand that there is a clear difference between the various forms of homicide that exist under U.S. law. According to Missouri Code §565.020, murder in the first degree can be defined as the act of knowingly causing the death of another person after deliberating upon the matter---which means that the element of premeditation must exist. When looking at Missouri Code §565.023, however, manslaughter is similarly defined as any act in which one "causes the death of another person under circumstances that would constitute murder in the second degree," except that the killing was a result of sudden passion. Although these two crimes are nearly identical in nature, the difference between murder and manslaughter is contributed to the offender's state of mind at the time of the killing.
What is the difference between voluntary & involuntary manslaughter?
Just as one's state of mind differentiates the crimes of murder and manslaughter, the same would apply when examining the nature of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. As mentioned earlier, Missouri Code §565.023 maintains that one would be guilty of voluntary manslaughter if they have a) caused another person's death under the influence of sudden passion or b) knowingly assisted another in the commission of suicide-which is also known as euthanasia.
While the definition of involuntary manslaughter is closely related, the difference between the two is the element of intent. According to Missouri Code §565.024, one would be guilty of involuntary manslaughter if they have a) recklessly caused another person's death or b) negligently caused another person's death while operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated state. Under these circumstances, the killing is unintentional-meaning that the severity of the offense would not rise to the level of murder or even voluntary manslaughter.
Examining the Penalties for Manslaughter in Missouri
In the state of Missouri, violent crimes are punished very seriously. For this reason, you should not hesitate to discuss your case with a
St. Louis criminal defense attorney from the Sumner Law Group, LLC if you or someone you love has been accused of committing voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Not only could you be facing a mandatory term of imprisonment, but you may also be forced to suffer through the social ramifications of a criminal conviction. As such, it is highly recommended that you take swift action against the following legal penalties:
Penalties for Voluntary Manslaughter
- Voluntary manslaughter is considered to be a Class B felony, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment not less than 5 years and not exceeding 15 years.
Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter is considered to be a Class D felony, which is punishable by a term of imprisonment that does not exceed 4 years.
Speak with a St. Louis Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has been charged with manslaughter in Missouri, it is imperative that you take action immediately. Even if you are not convicted of this crime, the social ramifications of an accusation could have long-lasting effects, so the legal team at the Sumner Law Group, LLC asks that you trust in us to guide you through the subsequent process. We can devote several years of experience to your defense, so you can rest assured that your future is in good hands when you enlist the help of a St. Louis criminal defense lawyer from our firm. Contact our office today at (314) 485-9948 to take advantage of a free initial consultation or fill out the convenient case evaluation form on our website to get started.