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Manslaughter is a Serious Charge in New York

MANSLAUGHTER is the intentional killing of another human being without premeditation or malice. This is a distinct crime from murder, but carries serious consequences such as life imprisonment.  Manslaughter can be voluntary if the actions were committed with the intent to kill, or can be involuntary.  However, deliberation and premeditation are elements of MURDER, not Mansluaghter. In addition, murder includes a malicious intent, while manslaughter does not.  If you are under suspicion of, or have been arrested on manslaughter charges, seek legal counsel from the best NYC criminal firm available.

Manslaughter arrestA person charged with Manslaughter is in essence being charged with homicide (causing the death of another) and while it is not considered as severe as the various crimes of murder, it is a very serious charge indeed. Anyone charged with this crime needs to seek out an experienced New York Criminal Defense Attorney immediately and be sure that this is someone you can trust because you may be trusting them with your life.

Second Degree manslaughter in New York is the crime many people have heard called “involuntary manslaughter” and there is basically not an element of intent behind this crime. First Degree manslaughter is known in many jurisdictions as “voluntary manslaughter” and does in some cases require the intent to cause physical harm, but not the intent to kill.

The New York statutes define the various forms of manslaughter in the following statutes:

§ 125.15 Manslaughter in the second degree.
This statute defines the involuntary manslaughter charge in a case where the defendant did not intend for the victim die, but acts in such a “reckless” and dangerous manner that the victim does die. This statute also creates a charge against someone who causes a woman’s death in an unjustifiable abortion. Finally, this is a New York statute where a person may be charged with assisting someone to commit suicide. This is a Class C felony.

CASE EXAMPLE: Unfortunately many examples of this crime involve the death of children and this case is no exception. A mother was convicted of second degree manslaughter because she continued to leave her 8 month old son with her boyfriend. Eventually the child was brought to the ER and died of physical abuse. The jury found, and the Appeals Court agreed, that because of the obvious bruises on the child and other indications that her boyfriend was hurting the child, the mother should have known that the situation was unsafe and was “reckless” in continuing to leave her child there. People v. Lewie, 17 N.Y.3d 348, 953 N.E.2d 760, 929 N.Y.S.2d 522 (2011)

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§ 125.20 Manslaughter in the first degree.
This statute defines the voluntary manslaughter charge in one element as a case in which the defendant did not intend to kill the victim, but did intend to seriously physically injure the person and death resulted. Another element of this statute is an incident (often called in the “heat of passion”) when the defendant is confronted with a situation that places them in such a state of high emotional distress that they react immediately. Many times an example of this is that of a husband returning home and finding his wife with another man and in a rage kills the other man. This is a Class B felony.

CASE EXAMPLE: A woman is convicted for manslaughter in the first degree. The facts of this case reported that the Defendant had a tumultuous relationship with a man with whom she lived. One night during an argument, she stabbed him in the back “just to poke him”, according to her testimony. He suffered internal injuries and died as a result of this “poke”. The Appeals Court has upheld a verdict of first degree manslaughter because of the element of intent to cause physical injury death resulting. People v. Hartman, 86 A.D.3d 711, 926 N.Y.S.2d 746 (2011)

§ 125.21 Aggravated manslaughter in the second degree.
This charge has similar elements to manslaughter in the second degree but carries a higher penalty a the victim is a police officer, who was acting in the course of their duty as a police officer and that the defendant knew the victim was a police officer. This is a Class C felony.

§ 125.22 Aggravated manslaughter in the first degree.
Again this statute contains the same elements as manslaughter in the first degree, but the victim was a police officer that the defendant knew was a police officer and this carries a higher penalty. This is a Class B felony.

Manslaughter is a very serious situation in the State of New York. You need the help of a top ranked Manhattan criminal lawyer to avoid stiff penalties including jail time. Call us (800) 601-0207. We are available 24/7.

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