Involuntary Manslaughter Attorney in Lansing
Involuntary manslaughter in Lansing can stem from a variety of different situations and can lead to a wide range of punishments, if you are convicted. Because of the law’s intricacies and details, it’s important to have a local Lansing criminal attorney who stands on the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and who has an in-depth knowledge of Michigan manslaughter laws. Grabel & Associates are comprehensive lawyers and have fought thousands of cases in Michigan. Our Lansing defense law firm has over 100 years of combined experience in criminal defense and knows the penal codes, laws, possible defense and your rights inside out. We will walk you through involuntary manslaughter, including your investigation, charges, trial and post-conviction, if necessary.
Definition and Examples of Involuntary Manslaughter
With all the different legal terms for death and homicide, it is important to know the difference between them and what involuntary manslaughter really means. The most basic definition for involuntary manslaughter is one person killing another as a result of reckless conduct, but without the intent to kill. In contrast, voluntary manslaughter is one person intentionally killing another person in a heated or emotional moment, and murder in the first degree or second degree refers to planned, pre-meditated killing, dangerous conduct, or blatant disregard for human life.
Involuntary Manslaughter, sometimes called criminally negligent manslaughter, may sometimes overlap with other charges, such as reckless driving causing death. Although the two charges are similar, involuntary manslaughter is a broader charge, covering a wider variety of situations, while reckless driving only applies when the defendant causes death by means of a motor vehicle that he is operating in a manner considered to be willfully and wantonly in disregard for the safety of others. This latter charge generally does not apply to situations where the driver has also committed a felony, such as a 3rd-offense DUI. In situations where either voluntary manslaughter or reckless driving causing death could apply, the prosecution may elect either, but generally choses the more specific charge.
Involuntary manslaughter charges do not apply when the defendant caused an accidental death while acting in a non-negligent fashion. For example, if a man trips and stumbles into a ladder on which his friend is standing, causing it to fall and the man to be killed, he is usually not criminally liable or guilty of any kind of manslaughter, unless the trip was caused by his negligence in allowing dangerous trip hazards in the work area.
Likewise, if the defendant was fighting an aggressor in self-defense and accidentally kills his assailant, he is generally not criminally liable, nor guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Proving Involuntary Manslaughter
The key to proving and convicting involuntary manslaughter is proving gross criminal negligence. Gross criminal negligence is when a person simply demonstrates a blatant disregard for another person’s rights that can lead to possible or actual harm. In the case of involuntary manslaughter, the prosecution will try to prove that the disregard for another person’s rights has caused the victim’s death. Gross criminal negligence can include recklessness, or result from a misdemeanor or low-level felony like driving under the influence. By driving under the influence, a person is knowingly endangering others to the point of their unintentional death.
Conviction for Involuntary Manslaughter
Manslaughter charges are a felony in the state of Michigan. If found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, you could face up to 15 years in prison, a fine up to $7,500 and possible restitution to the victim’s family (per Michigan Penal Code 750.321). If voluntary manslaughter is implied within another charge, such as reckless driving causing death, the fine can be as high as $10,000. With such high stakes and detailed definitions of involuntary manslaughter, it’s imperative to employ an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Working with an attorney as soon as possible – from investigation through post-conviction, if it comes to that – will help establish the best case possible and set you up for the best results possible.
Stand Up Against Involuntary Manslaughter
We know that your reputation is everything. You should and will be treated as innocent until proven guilty, a principle that is sometimes forgotten in the court system but not in our offices. At Grabel & Associates our reputation is important too, which is how we’ve earned a top 100 Michigan criminal defense attorney rating. Our strong results in homicide cases in Lansing and across Michigan speak for themselves. Whether you’re facing an involuntary manslaughter investigation or you’ve already been convicted and are awaiting punishment, Grabel & Associates can help at any stage of the process. With our knowledge and experience practicing criminal law in Michigan, we will fight for your rights, freedom and future. Contact us online or call us on our free consultation line any day of week, at any time: 1-800-342-7896.