The Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute defines the term “manslaughter” as the “act of killing another human being in a way that is less culpable than murder.” While this serves as a suitable descriptor of what qualifies as manslaughter, actual cases are much more difficult to gauge since determining the difference between cases of manslaughter and murder are largely based on circumstance and intent.
To further confuse matters, there are two major categories of manslaughter and additional, lesser known types of manslaughter, too. If you have been accused of a crime, you need the legal assistance of a manslaughter defense attorney in Tampa to help you maintain your innocence.
The Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter
Pertaining to the topic of voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, the simplest distinction between the two is largely dependent on whether or not the aggressor took a life intentionally or negligently. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when one person kills another intentionally as a result of extreme passion or adequate provocation. On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter is the result of one party’s negligence resulting in the death of another person.
Medical manslaughter refers to a grossly negligent act that results in the death of a patient at the hands of a medical professional. If you are a licensed physician, you must take great care with patients to ensure that they are being treated effectively and appropriately. In the United States, this type of manslaughter is generally referred to as medical malpractice.
This class C felony is characterized by one person exhibiting gross negligence while operating a vehicle thereby leading to the death of another person. Additionally, drivers who cause the death of another because they violated traffic safety laws can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. In most cases, vehicular manslaughter is the byproduct of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When one person assists or encourages another to commit suicide, they can be potentially charged with manslaughter. For example, a 17-year-old girl in Massachusetts was sentenced to 15 months in prison for convincing her depressed boyfriend to kill himself.
Another form of assisted suicide is referred to as “physician-assisted suicide.” Similar to euthanasia, which is illegal in all states, physician-assisted suicide involves restricting the use of life-sustaining machines or procedures that would otherwise prolong a patient’s life. This act is actually legal in certain states like California, Colorado, Oregon, Vermont, Hawaii, and Washington, but there are no laws in Florida pertaining to the legality of such an act.
Don’t let yourself become a victim of circumstance, consult a manslaughter defense lawyer in Tampa from The Rickman Law Firm to see how an experienced legal representative can defend your innocence.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.