Involuntary manslaughter: definition
The term “involuntary manslaughter” usually refers to a murder is not intentional as a result of carelessness or criminal negligence, or an unlawful act that is a misdemeanor or a felony low-level (such as driving under the influence of substances.) The difference most common of the involuntary manslaughter is that the latter (sometimes called a “homicide with criminal negligence”) is a crime in which the victim’s death is not intentional.
For example, Dan comes home and finds his wife in bed with Victor. Dismayed, Dan heads to a local bar to drown his sorrows. After taking five drinks, Dan returns to his car and begins to drive down the street to the double of the maximum permitted speed and, accidentally, run over or kill a pedestrian.
Elements of the offence
Must be met, three elements to declare someone guilty of involuntary manslaughter:
- That someone has been killed as a result of an act by the defendant.
- That the act was inherently dangerous to others or that are made with non-observance negligent of human life.
- That the defendant knows or should have known that their conduct constituted a threat to the life of other people.
The charges of involuntary manslaughter usually occur after a car accident fatal caused by a driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Although the driver did not intend to kill anyone, his negligence at the time of operating the vehicle while his abilities were impaired is enough to meet the requirements of the offense charged.
The activities are completely legal may also incur charges for involuntary manslaughter if they make irresponsible or reckless. For example, if the operator of a dangerous attraction carnival does not guarantee that all passengers are fastened and, as a result, someone dies, a prosecutor may decide to file criminal charges for involuntary manslaughter against the operator.
Manslaughter versus murder
As explained above, the involuntary manslaughter is the killing is not intentional act of another human being. Unlike the murder in the first or second degree in the sense that it is accidental, that is to say, a product of neglect, criminal negligence, or is committed during a misdemeanor or a felony under level. However, in most states, murder not intentional, that is committed during a felony “inherently dangerous” is considered to be murder in the first degree.
Similarly, manslaughter is usually defined as the illegal murder of a person without premeditation, which is another way of saying “without criminal intent”. The acts that generate these charges, but that are not included in the category of murder, ranging from passing a red light and kill accidentally a pedestrian to cases of negligence more severe, such as when the administrator of a building does not mandate the installation of smoke detectors and produces a deadly fire.
- Defenses to manslaughter
- Sanctions and penalties for involuntary manslaughter
- More information on homicide
- State laws on involuntary manslaughter (section of state laws FindLaw)