Unlawfully taking the life of another human being is, obviously, a very serious crime in the state of Nevada. However, not every person who is guilty of taking someone’s life is equally culpable. Under state law in Nevada, a defendant who acts with express or implied malice to commit a premeditated murder is punished much more harshly than someone who kills someone in the heat of the moment.
If you cause the death of another person but did not act with malice in committing this offense, you cannot and should not be charged with murder under Nevada laws. Instead, you will likely be charged with manslaughter. While manslaughter is still a serious offense and your life could be disrupted by jail time and large fines if convicted, the penalties for manslaughter are far less harsh than the consequences for murder.
Because you could still be imprisoned and left with a life-changing criminal record, however, you should be proactive in responding when you are accused of manslaughter to try to reduce the chances of a conviction or to look for ways to limit penalties you could be facing. The best way to make sure you are responding appropriately to manslaughter charges is to get a Nevada defense attorney on your side to help you fight the accusations against you.
LV Criminal Defense has provided representation to many defendants who have been accused of manslaughter. We can put our considerable legal knowledge of this area of law to work to help you fight the charges that could change your life. Just give us a call to find out how we can help.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
A prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed manslaughter if you are going to be convicted of this offense. The definition of manslaughter is found in Nevada Revised Statute section 200.040. A prosecutor must prove every element of the crime as defined by statute and if you can introduce doubt or the prosecutor does not meet the burden of proof, you should be acquitted to all charges.
According to Nevada Revised Statutes section 200.040, manslaughter has been defined in Nevada to involve the unlawful killing of any human being without advanced deliberation or evidence of express or implied malice.
Manslaughter must involve voluntarily taking the life of another. According to the statute, there must be evidence that the killing occurred “upon a sudden heat of passion” and/or that the killing was caused by some provocation that made it irresistible to act against the person whose life was taken. This requirement is in place because if there is no apparent justification for the killing in the heat of the moment, the prosecutor could use this fact to argue that the killing was premeditated and thus should be considered to be a murder.
Manslaughter could also include killings that were committed involuntarily in the commission of a lawful act or homicides that occurred while a lawful act was being performed without due care. However, N.R.S. 200.040 makes clear that there is a separate offense for vehicular manslaughter so a person who committed vehicular manslaughter would be charged under Nevada Revised Statute 484B.657 instead.
Manslaughter is a serious crime in Nevada, and although it is not as serious as murder, you still need to be proactive in responding to manslaughter charges if you want to avoid being subject to very harsh penalties. LV Criminal Defense can help you to try to raise doubts about guilt to maximize the chances you will be acquitted. We can also provide assistance negotiating a plea deal with prosecutors to try to reduce charges. To find out more about how Las Vegas defense lawyers at our firm can help if you are accused of manslaughter, give us a call today.