Crime Overview Involuntary Manslaughter

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In 2006, more than 1.4 million violent crimes were reported across the United States, and unfortunately, thousands more go unreported each year. Manslaughter is among the most common of these violent crimes. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of one human being by another without advance planning. It is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder. There are two levels of manslaughter, including voluntary and involuntary. Vehicular manslaughter is also a type of manslaughter crime.

Involuntary manslaughter, also called criminally negligent manslaughter, occurs when an individual is killed due to criminal negligence, or when someone is killed during another crime, where the intent was not to cause bodily injury or death. Manslaughter that is caused during another crime is referred to as misdemeanor manslaughter. Involuntary manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought. It is distinguished from voluntary manslaughter by the absence of intention. It is normally divided into two categories: criminally negligent manslaughter and constructive manslaughter.

Criminally negligent manslaughter is also referred to as criminally negligent homicide in the United States. It occurs where death results from serious negligence, or in some cases, serious recklessness. An example is if a doctor fails to notice that a patient's oxygen supply has disconnected, and the patient dies as a result.

Constructive Manslaughter is also referred to as 'unlawful act' manslaughter. This is based on the malicious intent in the commission of a crime. It occurs when someone kills, without intent, in the course of committing another crime.

Vehicular or intoxication manslaughter holds people liable for any death which occurs because of criminal negligence, or a violation of traffic safety laws. A common use of the vehicular manslaughter laws involves prosecution for an accidental death caused by driving under the influence.

The punishment and penalties, as well as the severity thereof, for involuntary manslaughter vary greatly from state to state and, more importantly, case to case.

If you have been accused of involuntary manslaughter, whether or not you are guilty, you will need to hire a criminal lawyer or attorney. Criminal lawyers and attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with crimes by arguing their cases in courts of law. Your attorney will walk you through every step of your involuntary manslaughter case, from arrest and arraignment to the jury trial, should your case go to trial.

If you are suing a convicted criminal for damages resulting from involuntary manslaughter, you should hire a civil lawyer or attorney. If the person was not convicted and you still want to sue for damages, you should still hire a civil lawyer or attorney.

When searching for a criminal lawyer or attorney, visit the American Bar Association. The American Bar Association website features a lawyer locator which is an excellent tool you can use to help you find a criminal lawyer or attorney in your area. Access to the lawyer locator and the website is free.