Manslaughter and Aggravated Manslaughter


Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought. Manslaughter may be voluntary or involuntary. Essentially, the difference between manslaughter and murder is that manslaughter was the result of an accident, heat of passion, or some other act in which the person does not have the mental state to commit a murder.

Vehicular Manslaughter occurs when a person drives a vehicle and unintentionally but unlawfully kills another human being. This occurs when the owner knows that there is a defect in the vehicle but still drives and someone is killed as a result of the defect in the vehicle.

Voluntary Manslaughter occurs when a person kills another in the heat of passion, without planning beforehand. The classical example is when a person finds their spouse having sex with another person and reacts immediately by killing.

Involuntary Manslaughter, also known as criminally negligent homicide, occurs when a death is an indirect result of recklessness or negligence. This occurs when a person runs a red light and hits another vehicle and a person is killed.

Manslaughter is one of the least serious murder charges, but it is still very serious. Although manslaughter can take many different forms, it is typically the killing of another human being without premeditation or malice. For the state to charge you with manslaughter, the act cannot be considered justifiable use of deadly force. In the State of Florida, manslaughter is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. A smart Florida manslaughter criminal defense attorney can give you a more complete idea of the range of penalties possible in your case.

Aggravated Manslaughter

Aggravated manslaughter is an enhanced charge triggered by certain circumstances. Those include negligently causing the death of an elderly person; negligently causing the death of a person less than 18 years old; and negligently causing the death of fire or rescue personnel. Aggravated manslaughter is a first-degree felony punishable by life imprisonment. If you are facing this very serious charge, you need a Jacksonville manslaughter criminal defense lawyer by your side.

Self Defense

In Florida, you have a legal right to protect yourself from attacks. You may be justified in using deadly force if someone is attempting to murder you. Additionally, in Florida, if a perpetrator is committing a felony upon you in your home, the use of deadly force is justified.

The statute was intentionally written broadly.

  • 1st degree Murder: A homicide committed intentionally with premeditation or malice aforethought.
  • Voluntary Manslaughter: The intentional killing of a human being, when the defendant had no prior intent to kill.
  • Involuntary Manslaughter: The unintentional killing of a human being.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter: A death that is unintentional and is the result of reckless driving, such as DUI.

To prove the crime of Manslaughter, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. (Victim) is dead.Give 2a, 2b, or 2c depending upon allegations and proof.

2. a. (Defendant) intentionally caused the death of


2. b. (Defendant) intentionally procured the death of


2. c. The death of (victim) was caused by the culpable negligence of


However, the defendant cannot be guilty of manslaughter if the killing was either justifiable or excusable homicide as I have previously explained those terms.

Give only if 2(a) alleged and proved, and manslaughter is being defined as a lesser included offense of first degree premeditated murder.

In order to convict of manslaughter by intentional act, it is not necessary for the State to prove that the defendant had a premeditated intent to cause death, only an intent to commit an act which caused death. See Hall v. State, 951 So. 2d 91 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007).

Give only if 2b alleged and proved.

To "procure" means to persuade, induce, prevail upon or cause a person to do something.

Give only if 2c alleged and proved.



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