Get Help From a Lawyer for Manslaughter Charges
Causing the death of another human being is always a tragic situation, even if this happened by accident, and the consequences are severe.
All charges that stem from someone’s death will be prosecuted vigorously in Kentucky. Even merely being charged with a crime that results in death will have consequences that will follow you forever, ruining your reputation and negatively impacting your relationships, career, education, housing, and benefits. A conviction could mean years in jail and a large fine, and your life will never be the same again.
If you are facing any manslaughter charges, you need an attorney on your side 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.
Not all criminal charges have to end in convictions, and there are aspects of a manslaughter charge that may lead to a dismissal or result in a lesser offense or penalty. Make sure you have an advocate in your corner, a skilled criminal defense lawyer who will thoroughly review and investigate the factual and the legal issues in your case and come up with the strongest defense possible.
Lawyer for Manslaughter in Kentucky Explains Homicide Charges
Manslaughter is a type of crime where one person is illegally killed by another. In Kentucky, according to the statutes (KRS Chapter 507), there are four types of criminal homicide: murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, and reckless homicide, and some are viewed to be more offensive than others. Murder is the most serious charge, as this involves killing with malice. Reckless homicide is the least serious, and occurs when a person acts with outright disregard for the safety of others and should have known that these actions could harm another.
Manslaughter is a slightly lesser charge than murder and is considered to have two degrees in Kentucky. 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.
The key element in first degree manslaughter is the intent to cause serious injury. This charge is often made as a lesser included offense to intentional murder and used when a person is in a state of extreme emotional disturbance when they caused the death.
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.
Second degree manslaughter in Kentucky is a less serious charge than first degree manslaughter, but the consequences are still severe.
Under Kentucky law ( KRS § 507.050), reckless homicide occurs when a person recklessly causes the death of another person. To be considered reckless, the person’s conduct must have breached the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe under the same circumstances.
Differences Between Manslaughter Charges
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.
What is the Sentence for Manslaughter?
Penalties for manslaughter depend on the charge and the situation.
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. There may also be a fine of not less than $1,000, no more than $10,000, or double defendant’s gain, whichever is greater.
Manslaughter in the second degree is a Class C felony, punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison. There may also be a fine of not less than $1,000, but no more than $10,000, or double defendant’s gain, whichever is greater.
Reckless homicide is a Class D felony, and is punishable by between one and five years in prison. In addition, there may also be a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.
Even if you are guilty of manslaughter, our attorneys can fight for a lesser degree of charges that carry less time in jail.
Manslaughter Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains Possible Defenses
If you have been charged with manslaughter in Kentucky, all is not lost. Our manslaughter defense attorneys know the judges, the prosecutors, and the court system, and we will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense.
There are several potential defenses to manslaughter charges, depending on the situation, including:
- You acted reasonably and rationally in fear of death or serious physical injury in self-defense, such as while defending the home against unlawful entry, or while defending yourself or others from an attack.
- You acted with lawful justification in making the decisions that led to the death.
- You suffered from insanity, mental defect, involutory toxication, or extreme emotional disturbance that led to the act.
- The act was not reckless, but accidental, despite the fact that you exercised reasonable care.
- There was an error on the part of law enforcement — police did not read you your rights, or evidence was handled incorrectly.
- There was a case of mistaken identity, and it was not you who committed the crime.
When you have Dan Carman on your side, we will find the best defense possible.
Choosing a Manslaughter Defense Lawyer in Kentucky
Why Choose Us?
When you choose Dan Carman, you can rest assured that you will be receiving the personal attention and aggressive defense that will let you get the best outcome possible. When you contact us, we will meet with you to listen to your explanation of what happened and determine the most effective path to your defense. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.
Lexington Kentucky Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is charged with manslaughter, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can find. 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.
Your case may seem impossible, but with skillful representation you have a chance. Remember, the law places a heavy burden on the government, and you have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Dan Carman, founder of Dan Carman Attorneys at Law, is a skilled trial lawyer who believes each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. He has helped individuals charged with rape, possession and distribution of drugs, possession of child pornography, larceny, hazing, obstruction of justice, and many other crimes. From arrest to appeal, he has the necessary expertise to effectively maneuver your case through the criminal process.