The crime of manslaughter is a felony under both State and Federal law.
Manslaughter takes two forms: voluntary and involuntary. Under Federal
law, it is characterized in both forms. Under Florida State law, it is
characterized as manslaughter or aggravated manslaughter. Generally, manslaughter
is the crime of killing a human being without “malice aforethought”,
or otherwise in circumstances not amounting to murder. For example, the
killing of another during a physical altercation where the killing was
not specifically intended before the altercation would be a form of manslaughter.
Under Federal law, manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being
without malice. It is of two kinds: Voluntary—Upon a sudden quarrel
or heat of passion; or Involuntary—In the commission of an unlawful
act not amounting to a felony, or in the commission in an unlawful manner,
or without due caution and circumspection, of a lawful act which might
produce death within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction
of the United States.
To be convicted under Federal law of voluntary manslaughter, the government
must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following: 1. the defendant intentionally
inflicted an injury upon another person from which the other person died;
and 2. was committed without justification or excuse. Conviction of this
offense in federal court is a felony and is punishable by a fine and/or
a term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 years.
To be convicted under Federal law of involuntary manslaughter, the government
must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following: 1. that the defendant
inflicted injuries upon the deceased from which
the deceased died; 2. that the defendant acted with wanton and reckless
disregard for human life; 3. that the defendant was at the time committing
an unlawful act not amounting to a felony; 4. that the defendant knew
that his conduct was a threat to the lives of others or had knowledge
of the circumstances as could have enabled him to reasonably foresee the
peril to which his act might subject others; and 5. that it occurred within
the special maritime or territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
Conviction of this offense in federal court is a felony and is punishable
by a fine and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed 8 years.
Under Florida State law, manslaughter is the killing of a human being by
the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful
justification in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder.
To be convicted under Florida State law of manslaughter, the State must
prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that: 1 the victim is dead; and 2. the
defendant intentionally committed an act or acts that caused the death
of the victim; or the defendant intentionally procured an act that caused
the death of the victim; or the death of the victim was caused by the
culpable negligence of the defendant.
Conviction of this offense is a felony of the second degree and is punishable
by a fine not to exceed $10,000 and/or a term of imprisonment not to exceed
15 years. If it is aggravated manslaughter, it is a felony of the first
degree and is punishable by a fine not to exceed $10,000 and/or a term
of imprisonment not to exceed 30 years.
Attorney Petruzzi has years of experience defending those charged with
manslaughter. It is important for one to hire an experienced attorney
when faced with these types of charges. Attorney Petruzzi’s knowledge
and expertise in this field of law is a vital asset to anyone charged
with this crime. Call today for a free consultation.