Involuntary manslaughter is a hot topic, thanks to the recent events surrounding Alec Baldwin. According to NBC News, prosecutors formally charged the actor on Jan. 24. Now, it is up to Baldwin’s legal team to fight against a conviction.
Due to the somewhat subjective nature of the charge, there are several possible defenses for involuntary manslaughter. See below for some potential strategies to avoid sentencing.
You acted in self-defense
Self-defense requires the defendant to have a reasonable belief that they faced danger. For example, if someone breaks into your home or charges at you with a weapon, self-defense might be a good strategy to pursue. However, the defensive actions must match the activities of the aggressor to some degree. Depending on the circumstance, someone who attacks you without a weapon does not necessarily justify retaliation with a deadly weapon.
Your behavior lacked negligence
Involuntary manslaughter requires some level of reckless behavior or negligence. A possible defense might be a lack of oversight in your actions. Scenarios where this is a valid defense might include equipment failure, reckless behavior from the deceased or a reasonable lack of knowledge that was not your fault. Behavior such as drunk driving makes this defense an unlikely option.
You were the victim of a false accusation
Finally, you might plead innocence because of a false accusation or wrongful arrest. Police officers might arrest you simply for being near a crime. It is also possible that the guilty party falsely accused you to avoid their conviction.
Defending against an involuntary manslaughter charge requires a solid legal strategy. Avoid discussing your case with anyone besides your counsel, and remain positive throughout the process.