Understanding Involuntary Manslaughter

by reports@rankings.io | May 12, 2015 | Manslaughter

In California, there are two types of manslaughter, voluntary and involuntary.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is a killing committed with no prior intent to kill, either committed in the heat of passion or under circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed.

Involuntary Manslaughter

In contrast, involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing. In California, involuntary manslaughter occurs when a defendant kills another unintentionally while either committing a non-inherently dangerous felony, or by committing a lawful act which without due caution may produce death. What differentiates involuntary manslaughter is that it does not require the intent to kill another, unlike murder, which requires malice aforethought.

If convicted of involuntary manslaughter a defendant faces 2, 3, or 4 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

In contrast, murder carries a potential life sentence and often times there are cases where defendants plead down to involuntary manslaughter or are convicted of involuntary manslaughter as a lesser-included offense because the jury does not find the malice required. The Los Angeles prosecutor’s office usually seeks the maximum penalties in these cases.

Related Offense – Vehicular Manslaughter

A related offense is codified under California Penal Code 192 (c):  vehicular manslaughter. Vehicular manslaughter is like the crime of involuntary manslaughter.  The difference between them is that it can only occur when the defendant is driving a car.  Vehicular manslaughter can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor if it is gross vehicular manslaughter.

The potential felony sentence for vehicular manslaughter is higher than involuntary manslaughter and it carries a potential sentence of 2, 4, or 6 years imprisonment. Vehicular manslaughter is charged as a misdemeanor if committed with “ordinary negligence,” and it is punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

Get Legal Help Now

If you have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles you are facing very serious charges. It is important to hire an attorney who knows the law and who can assert the proper defenses in your case.

The Rodriguez Law Group has the experience and dedication you need on your side. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Rodriguez knows how the prosecution and police put their case together against you. His experience and knowledge can be used to your advantage either in negotiating a plea or taking your case to trial. Contact our office today to discuss your case.

To learn more, call our Los Angeles criminal defense law firm at 213-995-6767 or visit our contact us page to send us an email.