Los Angeles Manslaughter Defense Attorney

Los Angeles Manslaughter Defense Attorney

The state of California takes manslaughter and murder charges very seriously. If you’re facing a manslaughter charge, you should seek legal help from a criminal defense attorney immediately.

For nearly two decades, The Rodriguez Law Group has been fighting to protect the rights and futures of clients just like you.

We handle all serious criminal matters, including Los Angeles murder defense cases, domestic violence charges, sex crimes, and more.

We know your future is on the line and we’ll do everything possible to get the best possible outcome in your criminal case.

Call us today at (213) 995-6767 for a free consultation.

Why Hire Our Criminal Defense Lawyers After You’ve Been Charged

When you are responsible for causing the death of another person, you can face serious criminal consequences for your actions. In most cases, the state will pursue criminal charges for murder.

However, if you can prove that the death was the result of criminal negligence or provocation rather than premeditation, you may be able to secure criminal manslaughter charges.

While both crimes are extremely serious, the criminal penalties for manslaughter are less severe than those for murder.

If you are facing criminal charges for causing the death of another person, then contact a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles at The Rodriguez Law Group for help.

As a former prosecutor, Mr. Rodriguez knows the challenges the state will face when trying a homicide case. Using this insight, he will find the weaknesses in the state’s case against you and leverage them to reduce or dismiss the charges against you.

Manslaughter vs. Murder

Homicide and manslaughter are both crimes that can be charged if you are responsible for causing the death of another person.

The main difference between these two crimes is the element of planning.

Murder is the unlawful killing of another person with malice aforethought.

Manslaughter, on the other hand, is the unlawful killing of another person without malice aforethought. Malice aforethought, which is sometimes referred to as premeditation, means that you acted with the intent to kill.

Manslaughter – Penal Code § 192 PC

Manslaughter, as defined in California Penal Code Section 192 PC, is defined to mean the unlawful killing of another person without malice. There are actually three different types of manslaughter in California: voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular manslaughter. Each type of manslaughter covers a different type of criminal behavior.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter, defined in 192(a) PC, is the crime of killing another person in a sudden heat of passion or quarrel. In this case, you become so overwhelmed with emotion that you are driven to kill another person. The classic example of voluntary manslaughter is finding another person in bed with your spouse and killing them.

One important thing to know about voluntary manslaughter is that there can be no cooling-off period between the provocation and your actions. Voluntary manslaughter requires that you act in the heat of the moment: you are provoked, overwhelmed by emotion, and react immediately.

If there is a significant lapse of time between the provocation and your action, you will face charges for murder, and not voluntary manslaughter.


Voluntary manslaughter is a felony offense in Los Angeles. If you are convicted of voluntary manslaughter, your criminal sentence can include:

  • 3, 6, or 11 years in a California state prison;
  • $10,000 in fines
  • Formal probation.

Involuntary manslaughter, defined in Penal Code 192(b) PC, occurs when your negligent or reckless conduct causes the unlawful death of another person. Here, the person’s death can be accidental and intended. However, you can be criminally liable because your conduct is criminally negligent. Your conduct will be considered to be criminally negligent if:

  • You acted in a reckless way that created a high risk of death or injury; and
  • A reasonable person would have known that acting in this way would create this risk.

Many times, you can face charges for involuntary manslaughter when you break the law and subsequently cause the death of another person.

For example, as a parent, you have a legal duty to provide a certain level of care for your children. You run to the store with your newborn child one sweltering summer day. However, rather than taking your child into the store with you, you leave them alone in the car. The excessive heat in the car results in the death of your child.

You could face involuntary manslaughter charges because your behavior would be considered criminally negligent. A reasonable person would have known that leaving an infant alone in a hot car in the peak of the summer heat would create a high risk of death or great bodily harm.


Involuntary manslaughter is a felony offense in Los Angeles. If you are convicted of involuntary manslaughter, your criminal sentence can include:

  • 2, 3, or 4 years in a California state prison
  • $10,000 in fines
  • Formal probation

Vehicular Manslaughter

You can face criminal charges for vehicular manslaughter, as defined in Penal Code 192(c) PC when you negligently operate a motor vehicle and unintentionally cause another person’s death. For example, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter if you cause the death of another person because you were:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Speeding at an excessive rate;
  • Driving a vehicle that you knew was unsafe
  • Intentionally crashing your car for financial gain


Vehicular manslaughter can be a misdemeanor or a felony in Los Angeles. The deciding factor is whether you acted with gross or ordinary negligence. Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of one year in a Los Angeles County jail, $1,000 in fines, and summary probation.

Felony vehicular manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 6 years in a California state prison, $10,000 in fines, and formal probation. A Los Angeles manslaughter lawyer will negotiate the best sentence possible.

In addition to jail time, fines, and probation, you can also face additional penalties if you are convicted of manslaughter.

Some penalties can be imposed at the court’s discretion, while others will exist simply because you now have a criminal record. Additional consequences of a manslaughter conviction include:

  • Suspension or revocation of your California driver’s license;
  • Loss of child custody and visitation rights;
  • Loss of the right to own or possess a gun;
  • Inability to secure employment in specific fields, including education, government, and healthcare;
  • Failure to participate in government welfare programs;
  • Suspension or loss of professional licenses; and
  • Restraining orders

In addition to these consequences, you will be forced to live with the burden of a criminal record. Employers, landlords, and potential lenders who run a routine background check will see that you have been convicted of a serious crime.

This may cause them to deny your application, making it incredibly difficult to find a job or secure housing for your family.

Defenses to Manslaughter

If you are facing criminal manslaughter or murder charges in Los Angeles County, you have the right to defend yourself. You assert any legal defense to help excuse, explain, and/or justify your alleged behavior. Successfully arguing a legal defense will make the prosecution’s job much more difficult.

They will be more inclined to negotiate the charges against you when they cannot build a solid case. Defenses that may be helpful in your Los Angeles manslaughter case include:

  • Self-defense;
  • Accident;
  • Conduct was not negligent or reckless
  • Force or duress
  • False accusation
  • Violation of Constitutional rights.

Fighting Manslaughter Charges in Los Angeles

Are you facing criminal charges for murder or manslaughter in Los Angeles? Contact The Rodriguez Law Group for immediate legal assistance.

Our experienced lawyers can help minimize the consequences of your arrest and get the best possible outcome in your criminal case.

Call our Los Angeles County office today to set up a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles manslaughter attorneys. We will review your case, determine the best line of defense, and make sure that your Constitutional rights have not been violated.

We understand that your future is at stake and will do everything in our power to get the charges in your case reduced or dismissed. The prosecution will begin to build its case against you immediately, so do not hesitate to call us today.

Manslaughter VS Capital Murder

The main difference between manslaughter and capital murder lies in the severity of the crime and the intent behind the act.


Manslaughter is generally defined as the unlawful killing of another person without malice aforethought or premeditation.

There are two main types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary.

Voluntary manslaughter occurs when the killing is committed in the “heat of passion” or under provocation.

Involuntary manslaughter occurs when the death is caused by reckless or negligent behavior.

The punishment for manslaughter is typically less severe than murder, with shorter prison sentences.

Capital Murder:

Capital murder, also known as first-degree murder, is a more serious offense than manslaughter.

It involves the intentional and premeditated killing of another person with malice aforethought.

Capital murder may also be charged in cases involving specific aggravating factors, such as killing a law enforcement officer, killing during the commission of another felony, or killing for hire.

In some jurisdictions, capital murder may be punishable by life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty.

The main distinction between manslaughter and capital murder is the presence of intent and premeditation. Manslaughter involves an unlawful killing without prior intent, while capital murder is a deliberate and premeditated act.

The legal consequences and punishments for capital murder are generally much more severe than those for manslaughter. A Los Angeles manslaughter attorney provides felony murder rule information required before preliminary hearing.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help With Manslaughter Charges in Los Angeles County?

Facing manslaughter charges can be a daunting and overwhelming experience. The legal consequences of such charges are severe, and navigating the complex criminal justice system without proper representation can be challenging.

This is where a criminal defense lawyer plays a crucial role in protecting the rights of the accused and ensuring a fair trial.

There may be insufficient evidence of any intentional killing or other mitigating factors that may lead to a favorable outcome, such as a not guilty verdict.

This may involve collaborating with experts in fields such as forensics, ballistics, or psychology to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and present alternative explanations.

A criminal defense lawyer can help the accused understand the legal process and their rights. When your freedom is on the line, it’s the most important call you can make.