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Manslaughter in Florida

If accused of Manslaughter in Florida, you need to know the:

Definition of Manslaughter

The crime of Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways, either by:

  1. Manslaughter by Act (Voluntary Manslaughter): Committing an intentional act that was neither excusable, nor justified that resulted in the death of another person.
  2. Manslaughter by Procurement (Voluntary Manslaughter): Persuading, inducing, or encouraging another person to commit an act that resulted in the death of another person.
  3. Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence (Involuntary Manslaughter): Engaging in “Culpably Negligent” conduct that resulted in the death of another person.

Manslaughter with a Weapon or Firearm

While not a specific element of Manslaughter, if the jury determines a weapon or firearm was used in the commission of the Manslaughter, the crime will be reclassified from a felony of the second degree to a felony of the first degree. [1]

Penalties for Manslaughter

The crime of Manslaughter is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 7 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Manslaughter, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 9¼ years in prison and can impose any additional combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to 15 years in prison.
  • Up to 15 years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Manslaughter with a Weapon or Firearm

The crime of Manslaughter with a Weapon or Firearm is classified as a First Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 7 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.

If convicted of Manslaughter, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 9¼ years in prison and can impose any additional combination of the following penalties:

  • Up to 30 years in prison.
  • Up to 30 years of probation.
  • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Defenses to Manslaughter

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Manslaughter are:

Excusable Homicide

The killing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the following three circumstances:

  1. When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
  2. When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or
  3. When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.

Justifiable Homicide

The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if done while resisting an attempt by someone to kill you or to commit a felony against you.

Self Defense

Also known as the justified use of deadly force, self defense is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder. Please view the Florida Self Defense section for more information.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Manslaughter in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.

References

  1. Florida Statute 775.087(1)