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What Is Manslaughter?

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In Florida, manslaughter is a killing of another human being that does not meet the requirements of murder. Unlike murder, manslaughter does not require premeditation. Florida breaks manslaughter into two different categories: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

What are the elements of voluntary manslaughter?

For voluntary manslaughter, the elements usually consist of knowing the actions would result in a killing, but not planning to kill. In other words, voluntary manslaughter is also known as heat-of-passion killing, when the actions are provoked during exigent circumstances.

What are the elements of involuntary manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another human being. It is usually a result of reckless or negligent conduct, such as drunk driving. The prosecutor must establish that the defendant had a disregard for human life.

What are the Penalties for voluntary manslaughter?

Per Florida Statutes, voluntary manslaughter can result in a minimum prison term of 9 1/2 years and a maximum of 15 years, plus fines ranging to $10,000. The punishment is contingent on the defendant’s prior criminal history and whether the defendant is a habitual violent offender. The punishment may also increase if the victim was a child or an elderly person, making the crime aggravated manslaughter.

What are the penalties for involuntary manslaughter?

As for involuntary manslaughter, you could face 15 years in prison, or 15 years of probation, and or fines of total $10,000. The punishment is also contingent on defendant’s prior criminal history. If the defendant is a habitual violent offender, the punishment may be increased accordingly. Similarly, the punishment may also vary depending on if the victim was a minor or elderly, or if the defendant exerted use of a violent deadly weapon.

What are some defenses against voluntary manslaughter?

  • Actual innocence and wrongfully accused
  • Self-defense of yourself or your property, or justified use of a deadly force to defend another person
  • Insanity at the time of the crime or trial
  • Accidental killing with no intent
  • Intoxication at the time of the crime


What are some defenses against involuntary manslaughter?

  • Self-defense of yourself or your property, or justified use of a deadly force to defend another person
  • Accidental killing—which may mitigate voluntary manslaughter to involuntary
  • Insanity
  • Alibi—you were unable to commit the alleged act because you were somewhere else at the time

Contact a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter is a serious offense, and if you or anyone in your family face manslaughter charges, an attorney is critical to avoid a harsh or unjust sentence. At the Khonsari Law Group, we are committed to providing each client we take with a zealous defense and ensuring that their case is resolved as favorably as possible. Call us today at (727) 269-5300 for a free consultation or send us an email through our online contact form.

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