When an individual intentionally kills another person without a legal excuse or there is no conscious disregard for human life when the act is committed commits the crime of voluntary manslaughter.
Murder is killing another person but this crime is differentiated from voluntary manslaughter due to the factor called malice afterthought. Malice afterthought exists when there is intent to kill with wanton disregard for human life.
When a killing is done during a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion, then the crime committed is voluntary manslaughter. In order to claim heat of passion as reason for the killing, the following must be present:
• The accused was provoked;
• As a consequence of such provocation, the accused committed an act rashly and because of the intense emotion, committed an act without reason or proper judgment;
• The provocation made the accused act without afterthought as to the effect and results of the act;
The following are the imposable penalties when the crime of voluntary manslaughter is proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
• Eleven years imprisonment in a state penal facility;
• Recording a strike under the California Three Strikes Law;
• Payment of fines amounting to $10,000;
• Loss of right to own or possess a firearm;
• Community service or labor;
• Attendance in counseling services;
• Other conditions that the court finds logically helpful to the case.
The crime of voluntary manslaughter is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.