When a homicide does not meet the criterion of murder, the prosecutor may opt for a manslaughter charge. You can be charged with manslaughter if your actions led to someone’s death but you had no intention of killing them. The state of Florida recognizes two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary.
You can be charged with voluntary manslaughter if you did intentional harm to someone as a result of passion or provocation. If you intended to harm but not to kill the person, then the state may decide to pursue this charge.
With involuntary manslaughter, you need not have had any intention at all to harm the person. It is a crime that may be described as a form of culpable negligence. If the prosecution believes that you acted in a reckless and negligent way and that such action led to the death of another, then they may decide to pursue this charge. You can also be charged with involuntary manslaughter if you are believed to have acted with excessive force in self-defense.
Although manslaughter is not the equivalent of murder, it is still a serious crime and carries a heavy sentence. You can spend up to 15 years in prison and be fined up to $15,000 if found guilty.
That is why you should immediately retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer. You should contact a lawyer the very moment you are arrested. It is important to remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. You still retain your Fifth Amendment right not to say anything that may damage your defense. You should exercise it. You should say nothing until your lawyer arrives.
Your lawyer will advise you on how to answer the questions put to you. If you are too shaken to speak to the authorities, then your lawyer can speak on your behalf.
You must begin preparing your defense straightaway. William Hanlon Tampa criminal lawyer has extensive experience in handling such cases. He has proven himself a tough, dedicated, and highly skilled criminal defense attorney.
The first thing your attorney will want is to hear your story. It is important for them to get a sense of how the events that led to the tragedy unfolded. Armed with this narrative and a preliminary review of what the authorities have on you, your lawyer will begin to build your defense.
Criminal defense lawyers specialize in their field. They have the expertise and experience to gather the facts, introduce witnesses, employ forensic evidence, and bring to bear the relevant bits of law. There are a number of things that the prosecution has to prove to convict you on a manslaughter charge. Here are some of the actions your lawyer will take in your defense:
Gather the facts
Discovery is one of the initial phases of the trial. In this stage of the proceeding, your lawyer will get to see all the evidence the prosecution has against you. Your lawyer will then bring in their own investigators to re-examine the scene and give a fresh assessment of the facts. This often leads to evidence that had been previously overlooked.
Popular crime dramas make it seem that DNA evidence is the most common type of forensic evidence used in trials. This is not the case. Forensic science involves the collection of stains, marks, scratches, and other types of trace evidence. The employment of such evidence may demonstrate the truth of your version of events.
Bringing the law to bear
The prosecution must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are holes in the evidence and arguments that they present, your lawyer will find them and raise doubt in the minds of jurors about your culpability for the death.