Of all the behaviors defined by law as criminal, many people believe that taking someone else’s life is the most heinous. While arguments can be made that other crimes are, in fact, worse, there’s no doubt that killing another human is a grievous act. The accused’s state of mind is the basis for determining which gradation of criminal homicide is charged: murder, manslaughter, or reckless homicide. Of course, just being suspected of such a crime is often enough to ruin someone’s reputation.
All charges that stem from someone’s death are serious, and Kentucky has tough penalties for those convicted. If you are facing such allegations, you need an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of homicide. KY manslaughter defense attorney Dan Carman provides aggressive representation with proven results to clients throughout the state in communities such as Fayette County, Richmond, Winchester, Georgetown, and Nicholasville. A native of Lexington and a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Dan is dedicated to helping those in his community who may find themselves struggling with serious accusations.
Fight back and keep your record (and your reputation) clean. Contact Dan today and tell him your side of the story.
Manslaughter is a slightly lesser charge than murder and is defined under Kentucky law in two degrees. Whereas murder requires that the accused had the intent to cause someone else’s death, a person is guilty of manslaughter in the first degree when:
- With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person;
- With intent to cause the death of another person, he or she causes the death of such person or of a third person under circumstances which do not constitute murder because he or she acts under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance; or
- Through circumstances not otherwise constituting the offense of murder, he or she intentionally abuses another person or knowingly permits another person of whom he or she has actual custody to be abused and thereby causes death to a person 12 years of age or less, or who is physically helpless or mentally helpless.
A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when he or she wantonly causes the death of another person, including, but not limited to, situations where the death results from the person’s:
- Operation of a motor vehicle; or
- Leaving a child under the age of eight years in a motor vehicle under circumstances which manifest an extreme indifference to human life and which create a grave risk of death to the child, thereby causing the death of the child.
To put it another way, manslaughter in the first degree is sometimes referred to as voluntary manslaughter, while manslaughter in the second degree is known as involuntary manslaughter. Murder requires that the person planned the killing ahead of time and acted with “malice aforethought.” Manslaughter in the first degree happens when the accused killed someone, but had no prior intent to do so. This can occur when someone is suddenly provoked by fear or anger and may be called a “crime of passion.” Manslaughter in the second degree is an unintentional killing that results from criminal negligence, from an act that was inherently dangerous. The differences can be hard to understand, which is why it is crucial to have the help of an experienced homicide defense lawyer.
Murder is a capital offense, punishable by death as well as lesser penalties. Manslaughter in the first degree is a Class B felony, punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison. Manslaughter in the second degree is a Class C felony, punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison. In addition to prison terms, people who are convicted of felonies are sentenced to pay a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.
Lexington Kentucky Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with, or are under investigation for, manslaughter, your best course of action is to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. You should not discuss the case with anyone else, including the police, investigators, friends, and family members, because those statements can be used against you in court. Even if you are only a suspect and have not been formally charged with a crime, consulting with an attorney can help protect your rights.
Dan Carman, founder of the Carman Law Firm, has practiced law in Kentucky for years, and also served as in-house counsel for an infantry battalion when he was deployed to Iraq as a U.S. Marine. From arrest to appeal, he has the necessary expertise to effectively maneuver your case through the criminal process. Contact him by phone at (859) 838-1415 or by filling out this online form so that he can learn about the facts of your case and begin to develop a legal defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. If law enforcement needs any more information from you, you’ll have the confidence of knowing that a competent criminal defense attorney is at your side.