Involuntary Manslaughter


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.

André A. Rouviere will, as your defense attorney, attempt to cast doubt on at least one of these three elements to defend you from an involuntary manslaughter charge. The burden of proof falls on the prosecution to show that the defendant somehow caused another person’s death.

There are several defense strategies used to defend an involuntary manslaughter charge. The first being self-defense in which defendants must be able to prove they reasonably suspected they were protecting themselves or another person from imminent death or serious harm. Another legal defense could be that the killing was accidental. In the absence of negligence or recklessness, sometimes accidents happen. Then there is always the”I didn’t do it” defense….basic innocence. The prosecution has to prove that the defendant is indeed the one who committed the crime.

And just in case the state has insufficient evidence to charge you,  André A. Rouviere will challenge the state’s case through investigations, reexamination of the evidence, interviews with witnesses and expert witnesses and other legal tactics.

Involuntary manslaughter at both the federal and state level is treated as a felony and usually carries a jail or prison sentence of at least 12 months, which is a light sentence for a homicide, plus fines and probation.

The base sentence for involuntary manslaughter under federal sentencing guidelines is a 10 to 16 month prison sentence, which would increase if  committed through an act of recklessness. The minimum sentence for involuntary manslaughter committed with an automobile is higher still, although judges may use a certain amount of discretion.

The State of Florida gives give a range of possible sentences and allows judges discretion in determining what sentence to actually impose. In making their determination, judges look at aggravating and mitigating factors to decide how harsh of a sentence to hand down.

Contact Law Offices of André A. Rouviere immediately-

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