The taking of a person’s life is dealt with very seriously in Nevada. Depending on the circumstances of the case, if you are charged with and then found guilty of murder or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, the penalties can be as much as up to life in prison or the death penalty.
If you or a loved one has been charged with murder or voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, it is vital you contact an attorney right away to look over the case and facts and formulate a strong defense.
There is a reason why the law differentiates between actual premeditated murder and voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and a qualified lawyer can best evaluate your case for the best possible outcome.
In Nevada Revised Statute section 200.050 voluntary manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of another person during a heightened passion that provoked a person to commit murder.
For example, a person catching his spouse with another person during an intimate act, and that person acts out in a rage and kills the other person. In addition, if there was an attempt to cause serious injury to a person, but it instead leads to the death of the victim, this is also considered voluntary manslaughter.
For a jury to convict pursuant to this law, the serious and highly provoking circumstance must be likely to inflame the emotions of a reasonable person.
By contrast, a felony murder occurs when a defendant acts with what is commonly called malice aforethought. This simply means the subsequent killing of a person came about because someone planned it in advance and acted on that plan. There was a viable intent in the mind of the defendant.
For example, let’s say a person knew his spouse was cheating on him and went and bought a gun and then lay in wait in the bedroom closet for the lovers to come in the bedroom before he kills them. A reasonable person can infer from this the defendant was not provoked to act by the heat of the moment.
However, Nevada has laws on the books that state felony murder is a homicide committed in the perpetration of certain crimes even if there was no intent.
Nevada Revised statute section 200.080 sets voluntary manslaughter to be a category B felony mandating imprisonment in state prison for a minimum of one year–meaning even if there are mitigating conditions, a defendant must go to prison for at least a year. The maximum term of imprisonment for this charge is ten years and possibly a fine up to $10,000.
Felony murder is a category A felony. Upon conviction, the sentence can be death or life in state prison without the possibility of parole or with the possibility of parole after twenty years. You also be sentenced to fifty years with the possibility of parole after twenty years. If the defendant used a deadly weapon or if the victim was sixty years old or older the judge will impose an additional one to twenty years on top of the sentence.
If you are charged with one of these crimes, it is extremely important to find a lawyer who understands what must be proven for you to be found guilty. Call us today to get you started on the right track.