Manslaughter is the killing of another person either intentionally or by engaging in a highly risky activity. It is a step below a murder charge’s requirement that you set out with an intent to kill or wantonly disregarded human life. Manslaughter is a felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison.

To prove a manslaughter case, the prosecution must prove that you either intentionally killed someone or unintentionally caused a death that shouldn’t have happened. An unintentional death is more than just an accidental death.

To be charged with voluntary manslaughter, the prosecution must prove that you were aware of a risk that someone could be killed and disregarded that risk. To be charged with involuntary manslaughter, the prosecution must prove that you didn’t exercise due caution. You may also be charged with involuntary manslaughter if someone died while you were committing another crime.

The prosecution is required to prove the necessary criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt. The law does not allow them to punish you for an unavoidable accident.

If you’re facing manslaughter charges, contact Ryan Birss, Attorney at Law, to schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Serving Shasta, Trinity, Tehama, Siskiyou, and Butte Counties.