Although the definition of manslaughter differs from state to state, it can be broadly defined as the intentional killing of another human being. This may sound quite similar to the legal definition of murder, but there is a distinct difference between the two. Ultimately, manslaughter differs from an act of murder based on the offender's level of criminal culpability. This means that their state of mind must be taken into consideration, as the killing may have resulted from a heated verbal exchange, provocation or the intent to cause serious bodily harm—rather than a premeditated attempt to take their life. These mitigating circumstances will also dictate whether the crime will be considered voluntary or involuntary manslaughter as it all comes back to the offender's state of mind and the circumstances that have led to the victim's death.
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In the state of Kansas, you could either be charged with voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is the act of killing with malice aforethought, while involuntary manslaughter is the act of killing either negligently or without malice intention. Because these crimes are ultimately separated by the offender's state of mind at the time of the killing, they must be punished differently upon conviction. According to the law, they are defined as follows:
- Kansas Code §21–3404: Involuntary Manslaughter – Involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of a human being committed either a) recklessly, b) in the commission of a separate felony or c) during the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner.
- Kansas Code §21–3403: Voluntary Manslaughter – Voluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of a human being committed either a) upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion or b) upon an unreasonable, yet honest, belief that deadly force was justified.
Penalties for Manslaughter in Kansas
According to Kansas law, manslaughter is considered to be a violent crime. As such, both forms of manslaughter are charged as felony offenses—with voluntary manslaughter being considered a level 3 felony and involuntary manslaughter being considered a level 5 felony. If convicted of either crime, one could expect to face hard time behind bars, as well as the required payment of costly fines. To be more specific, however, the legal penalties are as follows:
- Voluntary Manslaughter – Up to $300,000 in fines & up to 61 months in prison
- Involuntary Manslaughter – Up to $300,000 in fines & up to 34 months in prison
If you have been charged with any degree of manslaughter is Olathe, it is highly recommended that you get in touch with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A guilty verdict could have devastating consequences, so it is imperative that you protect your rights, and your freedom, while there is still time. Take the first step today by contacting the legal team at Garretson & Toth, LLC.
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The Johnson County criminal attorneys at Garretson & Toth, LLC have been defending the rights of the criminally accused for more than three decades. In that time, we have helped countless individuals to avoid the ramifications of a guilty verdict. For this reason, we encourage you to place your trust in the hands of our firm if you have recently been charged with manslaughter. We understand how overwhelmed you may feel, so we would like the opportunity to fight aggressively on your behalf.
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