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Manslaughter in the State of New York and its Penalties

Manslaughter is a serious offense in the state of New York. Manslaughter is a unique charge in that a broad range of acts may lead to a manslaughter charge. Just recently, a woman from upstate New York pled guilty to manslaughter after severely beating her children.

Manslaughter offenses are either voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary acts are those offenses completed with the intent to commit an act which will harm or kill another individual. In most cases, involuntary manslaughter involves reckless conduct. Reckless conduct occurs where an individual knows or should know that his actions were likely to cause harm to another and acts with extreme disregard of the risk of harm.

Types of Manslaughter offenses

Manslaughter in the Second Degree

Generally, manslaughter in the second degree is an involuntary offense. The offense occurs when:

  • an individual engages in reckless conduct that results in another’s death;
  • an individual engages in an unjustifiable act of abortion which results in a woman’s death; or
  • an intentional act is committed that causes a person to commit suicide or any individual who aids a person in committing suicide.

Manslaughter in the First Degree

Manslaughter in the first degree may be charged to any individual who:

  • unintentionally causes another individual’s death by intentionally causing serious physical injuries to the person or another individual;
  • intentionally causes the death of another individual during a time in which the emotional condition of the person acting to kill constitutes a mitigating circumstance lowering the offense from murder to manslaughter;
  • performs an unjustifiable act of abortion on an individual more than 24 weeks pregnant that results in the individual’s death; or
  • is over the age of 18 who recklessly caused the death of an individual under the age of 11 years old.

Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree

Aggravated manslaughter in the second degree is an offense that may be charged to an individual who recklessly and unintentionally causes the death of a peace officer or police officer. To constitute aggravated manslaughter, the death must occur while the officer was carrying out official duties and the individual must have reasonably know the individual was a police officer or peace officer.

As with manslaughter in the first degree, a first degree aggravated manslaughter offense differs from second degree offenses because there is a level of intent involved in the killing. Aggravated manslaughter in the first degree occurs where:

  • there is an intent to cause serious physical harm to the officer while he or she is performing official duties that results in the officer’s death; or
  • there is an intent to cause the death of the officer while the officer is performing official duties at a time in which the circumstances do not constitute murder because of an extreme emotional disturbance of the individual who caused the officer’s death.

Contact Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law for your Manslaughter Offense.

Attorney Murphy is a criminal attorney who has been practicing in New Jersey and New York for 23 years. If you or a loved one is facing manslaughter charges, you need an experienced criminal attorney fighting for you as you face up to 25 years in prison. To schedule an initial consultation, contact attorney Murphy today.

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