Voluntary Manslaughter Attorney in Lansing
In one instant or event, everything can change and your life can be thrown upside down. Any charge of homicide is terrifying and confusing, especially with the nuances and details of the justice system that the average person may not know about. Between negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter and murder in the first and second degrees, there are a lot of reasons why the victim may have been killed and not all of them are treated equally. A voluntary manslaughter charge may be especially difficult to understand and maneuver without an experienced defense attorney in Lansing by your side.
Voluntary manslaughter charges must be taken extremely seriously and you will need to hire a competent, talented attorney for violent crimes with a proven record in homicide defense. Grabel & Associates has a combined experience of 100 years, earning it a top 100 ranking of criminal attorneys in Michigan, and making it one of the top defense firms in Lansing. Your Grabel & Associates attorney is on your side and will hold the justice system to its core principle – innocent until proven guilty. It’s important to retain a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible and have that person with you throughout the investigation. Police and prosecutors will be building their case and using everything they can against you from the beginning.
Intent to Kill in the Heat of the Moment
There are many different charges that can be brought against someone for the death of another person. Unlike with negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter, where the defendant did not intend to kill the victim, voluntary manslaughter means that the defendant did in fact intend to kill the victim, but the act was in a heated or emotional moment. There was no premeditation and the defendant did not have the chance to calm down. Voluntary manslaughter is also referred to as a “heat of passion” crime.
Voluntary Manslaughter versus Other Homicide Charges
Voluntary manslaughter may sound a lot like murder; however there is one major difference. While both charges include purposefully killing someone, murder must include the caveat that the defendant had time to think about killing the victim and did not act in the heat of the moment. So the key to voluntary manslaughter is that the defendant acted as any other reasonable person would have acted in the heat of the moment or situation. The prosecution’s charge and case rests on proving that there was no “cooling off period” between the provocation and the killing.
What Constitutes Voluntary Manslaughter
A common example of voluntary manslaughter is a domestic abuse victim fighting back and intentionally killing the abuser. While the intent to kill was present, it was also done in the heat of an emotional moment after being provoked, and it would be reasonable to expect most people to react the same way.
Another example is a man coming home to find his wife in bed with another man. In that heat of the moment, the man may grab a nearby golf club and take a swing at the man in bed with his wife. If the swing kills the man, this could be a voluntary manslaughter charge because there was intent to kill, but it was a heated reaction to a provoking event. The twist could be if the man knew his wife was cheating on him and he knew he would find the two of them in bed at that moment. Such a case may then be murder rather than voluntary manslaughter.
What You May Face for a Voluntary Manslaughter Conviction
Whether involuntary or voluntary, manslaughter charges are a felony. Per Michigan Penal Code 750.321, a guilty conviction of voluntary manslaughter could lead to up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $7,500. You may also be responsible for paying restitution to the victim’s family. In sharp contrast, a murder charge could lead to life in prison without parole. This huge difference in conviction and punishment means you need to establish the best defense and case possible. It’s extremely important to hire an experienced, knowledgeable criminal law attorney as soon as possible to ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Professional Defense against Voluntary Manslaughter
If you or a family member is facing charges of voluntary manslaughter in Lansing, we know how much stress, anxiety and fear you are faced with. Grabel & Associates will work with you to take control at any stage of the process – from initial investigation and charges, to trial and post-conviction. With so much at stake, we do not take your innocence and the charges brought against you lightly. It is our priority to fight for your rights, your freedom and your future. We have earned a trusted, highly rated reputation practicing criminal law in Lansing and statewide from getting results. Call us at 1-800-342-7896 for a free consultation any day of week, at any time. You can also set up an appointment through our online contact form.