THE STRENGTH TO FIGHT.
THE CONFIDENCE TO WIN.

THE STRENGTH TO FIGHT.
THE CONFIDENCE TO WIN.

What should you know about Florida’s voluntary manslaughter laws?

If you find yourself facing charges of committing voluntary manslaughter, this means that law enforcement officers and the prosecutor have probable cause to believe that you deliberately killed someone because of a provocation. As FindLaw explains, the prosecutor need not prove that you premeditated the killing or had a “depraved mind” when you did it.

Rather, the prosecutor must prove the following:

  • That a sudden or unexpected event provoked you
  • That you consequently felt such anger or heat of passion that you formed the immediate intent to kill the person or commit a violent act against him or her
  • That your act resulted in the person’s death

Second-degree felony

Under most circumstances, voluntary manslaughter represents a second-degree felony. If convicted, you face a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 9-1/4 years. Your prison term, however, could be as long as 15 years. The judge could also assess a fine of up to $10,000 against you.

First-degree felony

Under the following circumstances, voluntary manslaughter represents a first-degree felony:

  • Killing of a child fewer than 18 years of age
  • Killing of an elderly person or of a disabled adult
  • Killing of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or paramedic during the performance of his or her duties
  • Killing with the use of a weapon
  • Killing with the use of a firearm

If convicted of one of these forms of voluntary manslaughter, you face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10-1/3 years, with a maximum of 30 years. The possible maximum fine of $10,000 remains the same as that assessed in second-degree felony convictions.

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