Boston Lawyer for Manslaughter

Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of another person without malice aforethought – the understanding that one’s action or inaction will lead to death. The law generally makes the distinction between levels of criminal blame based on the state of mind. This is particularly true within the law of homicide, where murder requires either the intent to kill, a state of mind called malice, or malice aforethought, which may involve an unintentional killing but with a willful disregard for life.

In most jurisdictions, manslaughter is split into two types:

  1. Voluntary manslaughter is intentional killing committed under circumstances that reduce its evil intent but at the same time does not justify the killing. For example a homicide committed where there are mitigating circumstances that may reduce the responsibility or when the killing occurred and the defendant intended only serious bodily harm. In cases of voluntary manslaughter the most common form of mitigating circumstance is provocation by the victim.
  2. Involuntary manslaughter pertains to homicides that result from criminal recklessness or negligence. For example the unintentional killing of another human being under negligent circumstances. There are several different types of involuntary manslaughter, including the following.

  1. Constructive manslaughter, also known as “unlawful act” manslaughter, occurs when one kills another person while committing another illegal act. One of the most common examples of this is when a person runs a red light or fails to stop at a stop sign, and hits a pedestrian who is crossing the street. In these scenarios, the driver is responsible for causing the death due to their fault in committing another, more minor, criminal act. This is different from accidental death in that accidental death occurs when the person who caused the death did not commit an illegal death. An example of this is hitting someone who runs into the street with your car, although all traffic laws were being carefully followed.
  2. Criminally Negligent Manslaughter occurs when the death of the victim results from serious negligence (or recklessness depending of the jurisdiction). In these cases, there must be a large amount of negligence, which would occur when the person chose not to act when they had a duty to, or failed to perform a duty, and this lead to death.

Speak with a Boston Criminal Lawyer for Manslaughter

To speak with a highly experienced Boston criminal lawyer, contact us online or telephone Francis T. O’Brien, Jr. at O'Brien Law Boston twenty four hours, seven days a week, toll free at 617-512-0939. There is no fee charged to discuss your case, and all information furnished will be kept strictly confidential.

The Parker | Scheer LLP Criminal Practice Group is led by Boston Criminal Lawyer Francis T. O’Brien Jr. who defends criminal cases in Boston and throughout Massachusetts. Criminal Courts served include Cambridge District Court, Cambridge, MA – Boston Municipal Court, Boston, MA – Brockton District Court, Brockton, MA – Framingham District Court, Framingham, MA – Waltham District Court, Waltham, MA.

Contact Boston Criminal Lawyer Francis T. O’Brien Jr. of Parker | Scheer LLP today at 617-512-0939.

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