Like many other Maryland felonies, manslaughter charges and their resulting legal penalties are distinguished by the unique factors of the case. There are two basic types of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Your Maryland defense attorney can help you understand the specific charge against you and will advise you how to best proceed with your case.
Voluntary manslaughter is an unlawful killing, but voluntary manslaughter occurs without the “malice” present in a first degree murder charge. Voluntary manslaughter may occur if someone kills another as a result of being provoked, or if a fight or physical altercation leads to the death of another individual. Though malice and premeditation are absent, manslaughter is still considered voluntary if the defendant acted in a way to intentionally harm or kill the victim. Voluntary manslaughter is punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.
An involuntary manslaughter charge is the result of a reckless, negligent, or criminal (misdemeanor) action that leads to the death of the victim. Vehicular manslaughter is an involuntary manslaughter charge that occurs when a driver causes a fatal motor vehicle accident, whether through reckless driving, distracted driving, or driving under the influence (DUI). Involuntary manslaughter, like voluntary manslaughter, lacks malice and premeditation. It is distinguished from voluntary manslaughter by a lack of intent. Gross negligence in operating a vehicle that leads to loss of life is charged as vehicular manslaughter, or vehicular homicide, and is also subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Maryland Manslaughter Defense
If you are involved in an incident that leads to the death of another individual, even if the death was accidental or you acted without malice or intent, you will likely face manslaughter charges. Our attorneys will launch a forceful and detailed defense, protecting you from inflated charges, flawed evidence, and improper police procedures. With skilled investigation, our Maryland manslaughter attorneys will work to uncover evidence to support your case. With access to medical, forensic, and psychiatric specialists, Kathryn Jaffe can produce expert testimony for your defense. With more than 12 years of proven success, she and the other criminal defense lawyers with our office provide the sound legal representation necessary to cultivate an aggressive defense strategy. Call as soon as possible for a consultation with a well-qualified defense attorney in Maryland.