If you own a gun for self-defense or you are an avid hunter, you are aware that there are some great responsibilities that come with possessing a firearm. We often hear tragic stories about people that were cleaning, dropped, or accidentally discharged their gun resulting in the death of an innocent bystander. Whether this accidental shooting occurred because the weapon was defective or because the weapon was mistakenly fired at a perceived threat, the end result is that the responsible party will need to speak to a manslaughter defense lawyer in Tampa.
Approximately 30 percent of American adults own a firearm; however, most gun owners are unaware of the criminal charges or penalty they would experience for accidentally discharging their weapon and killing an innocent bystander. With over 2,000 unintentional shooting incidents reported in 2017, it’s important that citizens are informed of the gun laws pertaining to their state.
When a person accidentally kills another human being, they will be charged with manslaughter. Manslaughter refers to a negligent form of homicide in which a person takes the life of another person without malice but uses reckless disregard in the act. Manslaughter, without a firearm, is a second degree felony in Florida that can result in up to 15 years in prison. Manslaughter, with a firearm, is a first degree felony in Florida that can result in up to 30 years in prison.
As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, a gun owner could accidentally kill an innocent bystander while cleaning their firearm or if the weapon accidentally discharged while they were handling it. Perhaps the most common news story involving manslaughter with a firearm is that the shooter, believing a robber was present at their home, accidentally fired on a family member or neighbor checking in on them. Unfortunately, there are many scenarios in which a person could commit a negligent homicide with a firearm.
If you are a gun owner, it’s important to use extreme caution when handling your firearm.
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.