Violent Crimes: Manslaughter

North Carolina law distinguishes murder and manslaughter charges based on the culpability of the accused at the time the offense was committed. In other words, the law considers the state of mind of the accused. While murder requires a showing of intent, malice aforethought, or an extreme disregard for human life, manslaughter generally occupies any other offense which results in death. Basically, manslaughter takes three forms depending on the facts of the individual case: Voluntary, Involuntary, or Vehicular.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter shares many qualities of a murder charge, yet rather than being premeditated with malice, the death results from a loss of control by the accused. This is often described as a killing committed in the “heat of passion.” Thus, voluntary manslaughter offenses are not planned or premeditated, but result from the accused being provoked and pushed beyond their breaking point.

In North Carolina, voluntary manslaughter is a Class D Felony and carries up to 40 years of prison time and major fines. If you or a loved one is facing voluntary manslaughter charges, the stakes are extremely high. Don’t hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC to speak with an experienced attorney who will aggressively fight for your freedom and begin developing a powerful defense today.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is a separate offense resulting from criminal or reckless negligence causing death. Where even a complete accident by a normally responsible individual may constitute involuntary manslaughter if the accused placed another in a dangerous position which had the potential to cause serious harm or death.

Because individuals convicted of involuntary manslaughter are considered slightly less blameworthy, the offense is classified as a Class F Felony which carries up to 20 years in prison and major fines. Like any other manslaughter charge, if you or a loved one is facing involuntary manslaughter charges, the stakes are extremely high. Don’t hesitate to contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC to begin developing a potent defense. Our experienced attorneys will fiercely advocate on your behalf and fight for your freedom.

Vehicular Manslaughter

Vehicular manslaughter can range from misdemeanor to felony and arise when an individual is accused of killing another while operating a motor vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner. A wide array of driver conduct may result in a finding of negligence or recklessness. For example, vehicular manslaughter charges may follow any death which results from driving while speeding, talking on a cell phone, texting, changing the stereo, driving recklessly, running a red light, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

North Carolina takes these charges very seriously. In fact, North Carolina classifies Vehicular Manslaughter committed while intoxicated as a separate, Class F felony which can result in 6 years of prison time, major fines, and more.

Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC Today

If you or a loved one has been accused of any form of manslaughter, time is of the essence. These charges can wreak havoc on one’s personal life, career, and reputation. Moreover, North Carolina courts prosecute manslaughter cases to the fullest degree, so you need a strong criminal defense attorney. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today to speak with an experienced attorney who can fight for your freedom and aggressively defend you from beginning to end.

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Blog - Manslaughter