Voluntary vs. Involuntary Manslaughter: What is the Difference?

Facing a charge of manslaughter can be frightening. There are a lot of scenarios that could cause you to wind up behind bars because of a manslaughter charge. When you are facing a manslaughter charge you need to find out from the prosecutor if the charge is either voluntary or involuntary. This will make a huge difference when it comes to mounting a defense to the charge and protecting your rights and freedom. Let’s take a look at the difference between these two charges in today’s post so you are informed if ever facing a manslaughter charge in Florida.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Manslaughter:What is Voluntary Manslaughter?

Voluntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of another person unlawfully and with prior motivation to do so. Voluntary manslaughter is not labeled or considered murder because there is no premeditation involved in the killing of the other person. Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as a killing of passion or a killing in the heat of the moment. If you have been charged with involuntary manslaughter it means that you committed the act of killing someone else, you knew it was an act that would hurt the other person, but you did not have a plan to commit the act.

What is Involuntary Manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is defined as the killing of another person unlawfully because of negligence or due to an accident or another type of reckless behavior. Manslaughter is deemed to be involuntary when the defendant did not exhibit intention to kill the other person, but the defendant did know that their actions or lack of action could be reckless or dangerous and could put other people in danger.

Involuntary manslaughter is divided into two categories: unlawful act manslaughter and criminal negligent manslaughter. Unlawful act manslaughter occurs when the defendant who committed the killing of another did so while breaking the law. Criminal negligent manslaughter occurs when the defendant acted in a highly negligent manner when the other person was killed.

The Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter

The main difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter is if there was intent to kill the other person in the commission of the crime. Involuntary manslaughter is most often the killing of another person due to an accident or another type of negligent act. Voluntary manslaughter is filed as the charge when there was intent to kill the victim, but there was not premeditation involved in the killing. You simply got into a fight with the victim or an argument and it led to the victim being killed.

Call to Speak with an Experienced Attorney Today

Have you been charged with involuntary or voluntary manslaughter in Florida? If so, it’s important that you refrain from speaking with the police until you have an attorney to represent you. Call the office of Piotrowski Law today at 305-204-5000 to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. You can also complete the contact form found on the website and a member of the firm will get back to you in a timely manner.