Involuntary Manslaughter [Opinion from Experienced Lawyer]

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Involuntary Manslaughter

Do you know what is involuntary manslaughter in Canada? Well, if you don’t know, you are in the perfect place you should be. We are going to discuss involuntary manslaughter in this article below for you. Let’s enrich your knowledge with the most reliable explanation of involuntary manslaughter.

In every lawsuit, man slaughtering is a severe criminal activity. No matter, it is intended to harm or kill someone or not. If someone gets involved with such a crime, it will be considered first-degree or second-degree murder. But in some cases, there is some situation where unintentional events take place.

In general rule, the sentence for manslaughter is very severe and extreme. But what if the manslaughter is involuntary and unintentional? These are the common variations of manslaughter, and one is voluntary or intentionally. Another is involuntary or unintentional.

This writing will explore everything about involuntary manslaughter and the common differences between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Keep reading the entire article for more.

What is Involuntary Manslaughter?

When any types of homicide occur unintentionally for carelessness or negligence, it is known as involuntary manslaughter. Though it is an unintentional action, it will still be considered a criminal act and felony.

Usually, an accident killing or homicide is fallen under second-degree murder. But involuntary manslaughter is far more different than murder or intentional manslaughter. So, involuntary manslaughter can be of various types depending on the situation.

For example: If a driver is driving his car while driving, he hits and kills a pedestrian, then the driver may be fallen under the following case:

  • Not Guilty for the Crime: if the pedestrian’s family wants, they can file for compensation for their damage. And this kind of complaint will fall under the civil case. If that is the situation, then the driver has to pay for the damage that he made.
  • Convicted of the Unintentional Accident: If the driver acted recklessly after the accident. And if his action was not any ordinary negligence; for example, if the driver was drunk or anything like that. Then he will be convicted of unintentional or involuntary manslaughter.
  • Convicted of Second-degree Murder: Usually, second-degree murder refers to a murder that is not premeditated. And it usually occurs for the negligence or the recklessness of the offender. In such cases, if the driver’s action proves that his driving was that extreme with negligence. Then the court will consider that case as second-degree murder.

What is Involuntary Manslaughter in Simple Terms?

In simple terms, involuntary manslaughter is referring to unintentional homicide. Sometimes, it can be out of negligence and recklessness. But there is no intention for killing in involuntary manslaughter. The most common example of involuntary manslaughter is when a driver unintentionally kills someone by crashing under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Why Is It Involuntary Manslaughter in Canadian Law?

Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter are quite different from each other. Voluntary manslaughter happens out of anger or out of the heat of passion for the moment. On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter, by definition, there is no intention for killings. That is why Canadian law marks it as involuntary manslaughter.

Types of Involuntary Manslaughter

The criminal code in Canada has categorized involuntary manslaughter into two types:

  • Unlawful Act- This is when a person commits a dangerous crime that has the possibility of harming another person or results in another person’s death.
  • Criminal negligence- When a person’s death occurs due to the accused’s irresponsibility or failure to fulfill responsibility towards others. The accused must have shown a ‘wanton or reckless disregard for others’ lives.’

What’s the Sentence for Involuntary Manslaughter?

The degree of the defendant’s fault determines the involuntary manslaughter sentencing guidelines. Although all sentences carry serious consequences, the maximum penalties do vary.

If summoned to jail, a person who has been given a prison sentence for involuntary manslaughter may spend a part of that sentence in the outside world. Typically, this part of the sentence will account for 50% of the entire time.

A person found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence could receive a 12-year prison term. Manslaughter, through an unlawful or dangerous act, on the other hand, has a maximum 18-year prison term.

Gross Negligence Caused By Involuntary Manslaughter

A person may be held accountable for involuntary manslaughter by gross negligence if they owe another person a duty of care and their negligence was serious enough to result in the victim’s death.

The following criteria will be used by the courts when considering this case for the prosecution:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to the victim.
  • The accused did not fulfill this duty of care.
  • The violation brought about the victim’s death.
  • The carelessness was outrageous and revealed a serious disrespect for other people’s lives and safety.

The defendant might be guilty of involuntary manslaughter if these requirements are met. If a business violates its duty of care, corporate manslaughter charges may be brought against them.

Definition of Voluntary Manslaughter

These kinds of manslaughter are also known as the heat of passion crime when a person falls into such crime out of their provocation. In other words, when someone is strongly provoked and executes someone out of the heat of their passion. This kind of crime is not considered first or second-degree murder.

Instead, it occurs as a result of human weakness and emotion. When the person does not have enough time to cool off from their anger, suppose a husband comes to his home and finds that his wife is cheating on him.

So, out of the anger, that action provokes him and kills that guy right there. In such cases, the court may take this case as emotional heat of passion and consider it voluntary manslaughter.

Possible Defences for Manslaughter

Although Canadian common law does not recognize proportional reactions in terms of violence and the death of human lives, self-defence can be used as a possible means of defence provided that the accused believed they had no reasonable legal alternative at the time of the act.

This can also include situations where the person was under circumstances where their ability to evaluate their situation was impaired, such as domestic violence cases.

The Criminal Code of Canada’s self-defence section was recently revised, including a list of factors that need to be considered by the court. They are as follows:

  • The nature of the threat
  • How imminent was the danger there other means to respond?
  • The person’s role leading up to and in the incident itself
  • Whether any party in the incident was armed
  • The physical attributes, including gender and size of the parties involved
  • The nature of the relationship between all parties, including whether the threat of force was previously used and any
  • prior history amongst all involved
  • The nature and proportionality of the force used by the accused against the threat
  • Whether the act was committed in response to a use of force that the accused knew was lawful

Can You Go to Jail for Not Saving Someone?

It will depend on the circumstances and situation. All the cases are different from others. In most cases, things happen too fast that the other person doesn’t get enough time to think.

In such cases, the situation is different. But if there is any chance to save other lives. Then it is a responsibility to save other lives. If the situation goes beyond, then you may also go to jail for not saving other life.

Get Legal Help from an Experienced Lawyer

It is essential to get a consultation with an experienced lawyer. Because when you are charged with a criminal offence, you must go through many things to protect your rights. In such a situation, the role of an experienced lawyer is inevitable. They will help you to establish a defence on behalf of you.

So, if you face and deal with any criminal charges, you shouldn’t waste your time seeking professional legal help. An experienced lawyer will help you defend and negotiate the plea deal and ensure the best possible outcome for you.

Need Legal Help From an Experienced Criminal Lawyer in Regina?

Sometimes an accident happens with people, but they don’t understand what to do in those critical situations. Yeah, we understand your pain, don’t worry, we got your back. Just call us at +1 (306) 848-7777.

Bottom Line

Suppose you are dealing with a criminal charge and do not know what to do next. Then you may consult with an experienced professional criminal lawyer. It is always better to get a legal representative who can help you to move forward. You will find so many skilled lawyers in your area.

But you need to choose the correct one for you in terms of experiences, skills in the relevant field and so on. Hopefully, this writing helped you to understand the basic differences between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.

FAQs: Involuntary Manslaughter

What’s the Highest Sentence for Involuntary Manslaughter?

The sentence for involuntary manslaughter will depend on the case and circumstances. But in most cases, the court can impose the highest sentence, lifetime imprisonment.

What are the Consequences of Involuntary Manslaughter?

If your cases are related to vehicular manslaughter, then some states consider Involuntary and vehicular manslaughter differently. But in most cases, you may need to go through some punishment or penalty because both are considered punishable felonies. The average punishment for involuntary manslaughter is two to five years of imprisonment with up to a $10000 fine.