Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child in Florida

Under Florida Statute 782.07(3), the crime of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child is committed when a person:

  1. Causes the death of a child (a person under the age of 18);
  2. The child's death was caused by the defendant's culpable negligence;
  3. The defendant was a caregiver to the child; and
  4. The defendant's culpable negligence constituted Neglect of a Child.

Unlike the crime of manslaughter, the crime of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child can only be committed by a child's caregiver.

Caregiver

A Caregiver is defined as a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.

Culpable Negligence

Culpable negligence is a course of conduct showing reckless disregard of human life, or of the safety of persons exposed to its dangerous effects, or such an entire want of care as to raise a presumption of a conscious indifference to consequences, or which shows wantonness or recklessness, or a grossly careless disregard for the safety and welfare of the public, or such an indifference to the rights of others as is equivalent to an intentional violation of such rights.

Neglect of a Child

Neglect of a child occurs when a caregiver fails to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child.

Penalties for Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child

The crime of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child is a First Degree Felony in Florida and punishable by up to life in prison, life on probation, and a $10,000 fine.

Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child is assigned a Level 10 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code. Absent grounds for a downward departure sentence, a judge is required to sentence a person convicted of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child to a minimum sentence of 13 years in prison, but may also sentence the person up to the statutory maximum of life in prison.

Defenses to Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child

In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child 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.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child 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.