Involuntary Manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide, is the unlawful killing of a human without malice aforethought, or by accident or “without criminal intent”. This unintentional killing could be the result of recklessness, criminal negligence or done in the commission of another, lower-level criminal act. The accidental killing of another motorist while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, also known as DUI, is one of the more common offenses to invoke an involuntary manslaughter charge. Sentencing guidelines vary however, defendants who are found guilty typically serve at least 12 months in prison.
Three elements must be satisfied in order for someone to be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter:
Someone was killed as a result of act by the defendant.
The act either was inherently dangerous to others or done with reckless disregard for human life.
The defendant knew or should have known his or her conduct was a threat to the lives of others.