As a manslaughter lawyer Grand Rapids, MI relies on, Blanchard Law can defend you in a case involving manslaughter.
Manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of another without malice, express or implied. It is a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $7,500.
Both manslaughter and murder require that there is a death, and that the death is intentional. However, manslaughter is different than murder. Murder is more serious than manslaughter in that it requires a greater disregard for human life; it requires malice (either express or implied) whereas manslaughter does not.
Manslaughter is separated into types: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing, but not with malice, because it is as a result of adequate provocation and done in the sudden heat of passion. Still, with voluntary manslaughter, the individual must have an intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm. Involuntary manslaughter, however, is still killing without malice, but is unintentional. Involuntary manslaughter may occur while committing some unlawful act, but without intending to cause death or harm; or by negligently doing a lawful act or failing to perform a legal duty.
Involuntary manslaughter requires gross negligence. The prosecutor must prove that the person (1) knew that the situation required the exercise of ordinary care and diligence to avert injury to another, (2) had the ability to avoid the resulting harm by ordinary care and diligence with the available means at the time, and (3) omitted using the care and diligence required to avert the threatened danger when to the ordinary mind it would be apparent that the result is likely disastrous to another.
Manslaughter may be a lesser included offense to a charge of murder. This means that a jury may decide that the evidence presented at trial justified a finding that a manslaughter was committed, rather than a murder. For instance, if a jury finds that the individual charged with murder was not acting with malice, but instead was adequately and reasonably provoked and that the killing was done “in the heat of passion” for which there was not a lapse of time to control his or her passions, the jury may decide that the individual was guilty of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder. Both types of manslaughter—voluntary and involuntary—are lesser included offenses to a charge of murder.
If a person acts in self-defense in killing but wasn’t entitled to exercise self-defense due to a mistake or fault on their part, the crime may be mitigated to manslaughter. In a situation where an individual is not entitled to use self-defense to justify the killing, it may provide a defense to murder where the prosecution must prove the malice requirement. Although self-defense did not provide a complete justification, it may have negated the malicious intent required for murder.