Nevada penalizes unlawful killings in all circumstances unless there was justification for the killer to act. However, those who cause the death of a victim are not all equally culpable. Defendants who intentionally cause death and who act with malice aforethought are considered to be the most deserving of punishment and, as such, face the most serious consequences including the potential for life imprisonment or a death sentence.
For defendants who act without malice whose crimes are not premeditated, prosecutors are going to bring a less serious charge of manslaughter. However, there are also different manslaughter offenses under Nevada law including voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
If you are charged with a homicide offense, it is important to understand what the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty of the particular crime with which you have been charged. It is also important to understand the potential penalties that could result from a conviction for the charges brought against you.
LV Criminal Defense can provide the legal advice that you need to understand the charges you are facing and to make informed decisions about how to respond to those charges. Our Vegas criminal lawyers can represent you if you are hoping to get an acquittal and we can present evidence in court to show your actions were justified or to introduce reasonable doubt as to your guilt. We can also provide assistance negotiating a plea deal which may result in a reduced charge and lesser penalties. Give us a call today to find out more.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Nevada law defines voluntary manslaughter in Nevada Revised Statute section 200.050. Voluntary manslaughter is defined by this statute to include the unlawful killing of another human being in circumstances where there was a serious and highly provoking incident that caused a defendant to give in to irresistible passion and commit murder. Voluntary manslaughter can also occur if there was an attempt to cause serious personal injury to the person who committed the homicide. The serious and highly provoking incident must have been an incident likely to inflame the passions of a reasonable person.
By contrast, a murder occurs when a defendant acts with malice aforethought. There is sometimes express evidence of malice overthought, such as a defendant looking up ways to poison someone on the computer before poisoning a victim. However, malice can also be inferred if there is no incident that leads to killing. The key distinction between murder and manslaughter is whether the defendant was prompted to act in the heat of the moment.
If a defendant is convicted of voluntary manslaughter, the punishment for this offense is set by Nevada Revised statute section 200.080. Voluntary manslaughter is considered to be a category B felony under Nevada law. The punishment for this offense is imprisonment in state prison for a minimum of one year. This means that no matter the mitigating circumstances, a conviction means that the defendant must be imprisoned for at least a year.
The maximum term of imprisonment for voluntary manslaughter is a 10-year term of incarceration. A defendant could also be fined up to $10,000 upon conviction for voluntary manslaughter.
When you are facing a minimum of one-year incarceration and a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment, it is imperative you take manslaughter charges seriously if you do not want your life to be derailed. You should reach out to a Vegas criminal lawyer as soon as possible if you are suspected of committing manslaughter so your legal team can help you to fight the charges against you.
LV Criminal Defense is here to help. Give us a call today to get a compassionate and knowledgeable advocate on your side to help you develop a legal strategy and fight for the best possible outcome for your case.