Browse:  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
     
Enter a Legal Term

Search the Definitions

manslaughter

n. the unlawful killing of another person without premeditation or so-called "malice aforethought" (an evil intent prior to the killing). It is distinguished from murder (which brings greater penalties) by lack of any prior intention to kill anyone or create a deadly situation. There are two levels of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter includes killing in heat of passion or while committing a felony. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a death is caused by a violation of a non-felony, such as reckless driving (called "vehicular manslaughter"). Examples: Eddy Hothead gets into a drunken argument in a saloon with his acquaintance Bob Bonehead, and Hothead hits Bonehead over the head with a beer bottle, causing internal bleeding and death. Brent Burgle sneaks into a warehouse intent on theft and is surprised by a security man, whom Burgle knocks down a flight of stairs, killing him. Both are voluntary manslaughter. However, if either man had used a gun, a murder charge is most likely since he brought a deadly weapon to use in the crime. The immediate rage in finding a loved one in bed with another followed by a killing before the passion cools usually limits the charge to voluntary manslaughter and not murder, but prior attacks could convince a District Attorney and a jury that the killing was not totally spontaneous. Lenny Leadfoot drives 70 miles per hour on a twisting mountain road, goes off a cliff and his passenger is killed in the crash. Leadfoot can be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

See also: homicide  murder 

From the Law.com Newswire



The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

FEATURED FIRMS

The Law Firm Of Jonathan C. Reiter
350 5th Ave
New York, NY 10118
212-736-0979
Ronaldson & Kuchler
205 W Upper Wacker Dr #1615
Chicago, IL 60606
312- 425-2600
O'Malley & Langan PC
201 Franklin Ave
Scranton, PA 18503
570-344-2667
omalleylangan.com
Coplan & Crane
70 W Madison St, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60602
800-394-6002

Presented By Big Voodoo