Here in Florida, one of the charges a person could face when accused of being involved in a death is the charge of manslaughter.

Under state law, manslaughter is when a person, through an act, a procurement or culpable negligence, unlawfully kills another person in a manner that does not rise to the level of murder.

Manslaughter comes in two basic levels here in Florida. These levels are standard and aggravated. Standard manslaughter is generally a second-degree felony. Meanwhile, aggravated manslaughter is typically a first-degree felony.

A conviction on any type of manslaughter charge can have big impacts on a person’s life and future. However, a first-degree felony carries heavier potential penalties than a second-degree felony. For example, the general max prison sentence is 30 years for first-degree felonies and 15 years for second-degree felonies.

So, when a person is accused of manslaughter in the state, whether the accusations could trigger aggravated manslaughter charges is a very impactful issue.

Here in Florida, a manslaughter offense rises to the level of aggravated manslaughter when it involves culpable negligence leading to the death of a person that is in one of the special classes noted in state manslaughter law. These classes are:

  • People under 18, disabled adults and the elderly (if the death came about through neglect)
  • Emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters and officers performing their duties

So, how severe of charges a person could face in relation to being accused of being involved in a death here in Florida in part depends on who died.