The criminal offense of manslaughter refers to the act of killing another person without malice. The law views manslaughter as implying less culpability compared to murder, but it is still a felony offense with suitably harsh penalties.
Receiving a charge of aggravated manslaughter means that the circumstances surrounding the death of the victim call for even harsher consequences than a standard manslaughter offense. If you stand accused of aggravated manslaughter, it is crucial that you understand the penalties you are facing as well as your options for defending yourself.
What does the law say about aggravated manslaughter?
Florida homicide laws explain that while simple manslaughter is a felony in the second degree, various acts of aggravated manslaughter are felonies in the first degree. A first-degree felony in Florida is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. Examples of aggravating circumstances that can escalate a manslaughter offense to a first-degree felony include manslaughter of an elderly person, manslaughter of a child or manslaughter against law enforcement and emergency response personnel.
How can you defend yourself against a manslaughter charge?
Defending yourself in the face of a manslaughter charge means seeking an acquittal or even mitigating the penalties you will receive. You might base your defense on the claim that the act of manslaughter was involuntary or an act of self-defense. Successfully proving that the incident was an accident or that it was involuntary manslaughter will likely require extra expertise in navigating the complexities of a manslaughter case.
The difference between simple manslaughter and aggravated manslaughter is often a matter of who died. This seemingly uncontrollable factor in the case can be the cause for much stiffer penalties against you as the accused.