In California, when an individual intentionally causes the death of another without a legal excuse and such killing was done without conscious regard for human life, the crime of manslaughter is committed.
While this may be similar to murder, there are major differences to these two crimes. The main difference between manslaughter and murder is the presence of malice afterthought. When the killing is done with wanton disregard for human life, the crime of manslaughter becomes murder.
Often, manslaughter is committed when there is a killing during a quarrel or in the heat of passion. In order to be allowed as killing in heat of passion, the following circumstances need to be present:
- There was sufficient provocation of the accused;
- Because of such provocation, the act was committed rashly and influenced by intense emotion rather than reason or judgment;
- he provocation blinded the accused as to the effects and results of the act committed;
The following elements need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted of the crime of manslaughter:
• Imprisonment of up to eleven (11) years in state penitentiary;
• Registration of a strike under the California Three Strikes Law;
• Pay fines of up to $10,000;
• Loss of right to own or possess a firearm;
• Mandatory community service;
• Attendance in rehabilitation program;
• Other conditions deemed appropriate by the court.
The crime of 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.