Los Angeles Manslaughter Defense Attorney
Perhaps the most serious criminal offense you can be charged with in the state of California is a homicide crime, or the taking of another human life. Many people conflate homicide with murder, when, actually, murder is just a subtype of homicide crime that involves killing intentionally. There are other subtypes, including manslaughter, which is charged when you kill someone unintentionally, but in a way that is reckless or criminally negligent. Depending on the circumstances of the act, manslaughter is further broken down into two subtypes of its own: voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
If you find yourself charged with any form of manslaughter in Los Angeles, the best thing you can do is contact an experienced, local Los Angeles manslaughter defense lawyer like Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law. Eric Davis has years of experienced successfully fighting in courtrooms throughout the city to get clients’ manslaughter charges downgraded or dismissed. He will leave no stone unturned working to bring your case to the best possible resolution. For a free consultation, call today at (626) 628-9596.
What Is the Definition of Manslaughter in Los Angeles?
As noted above, there are multiple different homicide or “killing crimes” in the state of California. Which of these crimes you will be charged with after a killing largely depends on the level of culpability the police believe you possessed. Murder applies to fully intentional killings. Manslaughter, on the other hand, applies either to unintentional, but reckless or criminally negligent, killings, or to killing made in the heat of passion. The former is charged as involuntary manslaughter, while the latter is charged as voluntary manslaughter. Sometimes, a lesser form or involuntary manslaughter called vehicular manslaughter is charged after deadly car accidents.
Voluntary manslaughter is defined under California Penal Code Section 192(a) as “the unlawful killing of a human being upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.” This definition is somewhat ambiguous, but in practice it refers to a situation where a killing occurs due to a spontaneous heat of passion that any reasonable person might experience. The classic example is a husband walking in on his wife in bed with another man and killing the man in a fit of rage. Historically, courts have found such “heat of passion” killings to be less than intentional, but more than the reckless or criminally negligent standard applied to voluntary manslaughter. Nowadays, it is rarely the original charge filed but is often used as part of a plea deal involving reducing a murder charge to manslaughter.
The other type of manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, is defined under California Penal Code Section 192(b) as: “The commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony; or the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection.” Essentially, this charge applies when you kill someone in a reckless or criminally negligent way, but not intentionally. Examples could include a parent whose child died when they left them locked in a hot car or a drunk driver who causes a crash that kills someone. There is also a lesser charge of “vehicular manslaughter” that applies when you kill someone in a car accident in a situation where you committed a misdemeanor such as texting while driving (as opposed to a felony like driving drunk).
Penalties for Manslaughter in Los Angeles
As noted above, voluntary manslaughter is generally considered more serious than involuntary manslaughter. As such, the penalties are higher. You can face up to 11 years in prison if you are convicted of voluntary manslaughter. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, you can face a sentence of up to 4 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. Because vehicular manslaughter can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, the penalties can vary depending on the grading of the crime. A misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail, while a felony vehicular manslaughter conviction is punishable by up to 6 years in jail. Any sort of vehicular manslaughter conviction will also result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
How a Los Angeles Manslaughter Defense Attorney Can Help with Your Charge
If you are arrested for manslaughter, your first call should be to a battle-tested Los Angeles manslaughter defense attorney like Eric Davis. Within 48 hours of your arrest and booking, your arraignment and bail hearing will occur, and you will not want to go through either of these important early events that can set the At your arraignment, you will be asked to enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty. An experienced Los Angeles manslaughter attorney that can help with a criminal arraignment like Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law is likely to advise you to make a “not guilty” plea while they collect all the evidence for your case and assess how strong the prosecution’s case is against you.
Your bail hearing is where the judge will make a decision on whether or not you can be released while the case works its way through the system or must remain in jail. Eric Davis knows the factors judges find most persuasive in deciding whether to release you and on how much bail. Once we have dealt wit your release, we can work to negotiate some sort of deal with the prosecutor for your manslaughter charge to be dismissed or downgraded to something less serious. If you are not satisfied with the deal offered or simply do not wish to take the deal, Eric Davis is ready and able to fight for a not guilty verdict at trial.
Call Our Los Angeles Manslaughter Defense Attorney Today
Manslaughter is a very serious charge with very serious consequences for those who are convicted, including the possibility behind bars. By reaching out to an experienced Los Angeles manslaughter defense attorney like Eric D. Davis, Attorney at Law, as soon as possible after your arrest for manslaughter, you give yourself the best chance of bringing the matter to a positive resolution. For a free, confidential consultation with our Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, call us today at (626) 628-9596.