When someone is killed, one must know that it is not always intentional. There is a thing called involuntary manslaughter where the death of a person is never the intent of the one charged with the crime. Still, involuntary manslaughter holds consequences as it still related to heavier offenses such as homicide and murder. What really is the involuntary manslaughter definition, though? And what are its examples? Ultimately, what could happen if you find yourself facing it? Read on for further information.
Involuntary manslaughter definition
The Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) define involuntary manslaughter in Nevada as “the killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, in the commission of an unlawful act, or a lawful act which probably might produce such a consequence in an unlawful manner…”
In simpler terms, involuntary manslaughter occurs when a person does something negligently and recklessly which causes another person to die. One example is improperly setting a firearm, if you did not care to check it one last time, it could kill someone who is holding it when it happens to still be loaded. Another example is when a ride attendant fails to ensure that belts are secured in a ride which causes people to fall off and die.
As you can see, the involuntary manslaughter definition can be complex but it boils down to two factors which are:
- Criminally negligent manslaughter
- Misdemeanor manslaughter
Criminally negligent manslaughter is when you fail to act on a responsibility resulting to someone’s death (as we have established) while misdemeanor manslaughter is killing someone while performing a misdemeanor. For example, you were running away from traffic police or trespassing on someone’s property.
Sentences for involuntary manslaughter
Involuntary manslaughter penalty is one of the mildest types of penalties out of crimes involving the killing of a person in Nevada. Nonetheless, it is still weighty if we are comparing it to standard misdemeanor cases.
Involuntary manslaughter in Nevada means a category D felony sentence if found guilty and the penalties include a prison term of one to four years and fines that are at least $5,000 in amount. This applies to both criminal negligence manslaughter and misdemeanor manslaughter.
Defenses against involuntary manslaughter
Since the definition of involuntary manslaughter is the act of someone not intending to kill the victim, there can be many defenses one can use. However, the defense of no harm intended should be ruled out as there is obvious harm done whether you had planned it or not. Here are some defenses a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas will most likely suggest.
First of the defenses that you can use to avoid sentences for involuntary manslaughter is self-defense. When someone is trying to hurt you or someone you know, you can always fight back. A sample scenario would be when someone is rushing you with a knife, you held onto the knife and accidentally stabs the attacker during the struggle. The court will impose you with involuntary manslaughter but you can counter that you were simply defending yourself and had no intention of killing.
The second defense is the magnitude of negligence. In Nevada and most of the States, one can only be sentenced to involuntary manslaughter if the negligence is severe or is gross negligence. If you can prove that you were careful about the situation and the death was caused by factors you really have no control over, then there is a high chance of you being acquitted.
Now, if your charges are murder, your legal representation can do their best to reduce it to involuntary manslaughter through a plea bargain. Of course, this strategy needs ample and strong evidence. Mistaken identity and that the incident was purely an accident are some of the defenses you and your party can use.
Negligence can sometimes lead to the death of a person. The majority of us do not mean harm to our family and fellow humans but it could happen. As unfortunate as it may sound, we must face the intended manslaughter penalty. Nevertheless, this does not mean we cannot defend ourselves. To prove that it really is an involuntary act, get the aid of a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada to turn your defenses into absolution.