David G. Moore Attorney At Law
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What is involuntary manslaughter?


In April, we discussed voluntary manslaughter and how it differs from murder. Both crimes carry serious penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence and a history of violent crimes that may never go away. But what happens if a motorist kills someone by total accident? What if a driver was simply driving while distracted or while intoxicated and he or she hit and kill someone? In these instances, an individual may be contending with an involuntary manslaughter charge.

Involuntary manslaughter occurs when an individual kills another unintentionally, typically as a result of recklessness or negligence. An individual may also be hit with an involuntary manslaughter charge if the death results from committing a misdemeanor or low-level felony like driving under the influence. Though these incidences are completely accidental, a criminal conviction could land an individual in prison for up to 15 years.

However, simply because an individual causes the death of another does not mean that he or she is guilty of a crime. As mentioned above, in order to be convicted of involuntary manslaughter the accused individual must have acted negligently or recklessly and that negligence or recklessness caused the deceased's death. Therefore, if a drunk person stumbles out into the street and is not in an intersection, and a driver did not have time to stop, then the driver may be able to avoid an involuntary manslaughter criminal charge.

Handling violent crime matters can be difficult. The law can be hard to get a grasp on and those accused of the crime may feel scared and overwhelmed. This is why it is often a good idea to consult with an aggressive, dedicated, and experienced attorney who may be able to help fight such accusations.

Source: FindLaw, "Michigan Involuntary Manslaughter," accessed on May 29, 2015

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