Manslaughter Attorney in Vancouver
Vancouver WA | Camas WA | Battle Ground WA
Filed when someone has lost his or her life because of another person’s actions, manslaughter is a lesser charge than murder. What distinguishes the two legal concepts is the level of the accused person’s prior intent. If any planning was involved, the charge will be murder. Manslaughter requires no intent. Involuntary and voluntary are two main forms of manslaughter.
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Types of Manslaughter Charges
Involuntary Manslaughter – This charge is typically applied when an individual is killed because of the recklessness or criminal negligence of another person. The death was not intentional even if it was the result of some sort of criminal behavior. The prosecution must prove that the accused caused the death and the act resulting in the death was inherently dangerous. The prosecution may also claim that the accused had a reckless disregard for life.
Voluntary Manslaughter – This occurs when the defendant wanted to kill the deceased person at that moment but did not have any prior intent. This type of killing occurs in the heat of the moment or the heat of passion. The death is usually the result of a dispute, fight or quarrel that quickly escalates. Although someone died, there was no malicious forethought.
Vehicular Manslaughter – This charge usually involves a car crash in which someone was killed, and the vehicle operator was driving drunk or drugged. While the driver did not intend to kill anyone, driving under the influence (DUI) of a substance that impairs mental clarity is considered life-threatening behavior. When someone is arrested for DUI, the driver will be charged with manslaughter regardless whether the deceased person was walking or in a vehicle.
When to Call a Lawyer
When someone is arrested and charged with manslaughter, he or she should remain silent when being questioned by the authorities and invoke the right to counsel. Once legal representation is secured, the accused can tell the manslaughter attorney his or her side of the story so that a defense strategy can be developed. The sooner the accused speaks with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, the better the chance there is for a favorable outcome.