Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Common forms of defense against voluntary manslaughter

voluntary manslaughter conviction can have very severe consequences which can include massive fines, decades of jail time as well as the irreparable damage to your reputation. Voluntary manslaughter defenses are very similar to those of other homicides. To avoid conviction, the defense has several forms to draw upon.

The simplest form of defense that a defendant can use is claiming innocence. The defense can claim the accused did not commit the crime that they are charged with. This is the best possible form of defense as the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. It relies on the defense providing proof that clears the accused from the charges. This can be in the form of an alibi. In the case of voluntary manslaughter, the defense can only draw upon a perfect self-defense claim; this is the form of self-defense where the situation presented a reasonable requirement for lethal force to be used for the protection of the life of the accused or others. An imperfect self-defense claim would be an admission on the part of the defense to committing voluntary manslaughter. The defense must provide proof that shows that there was a reasonable need for deadly force.

The defense can claim the accused was clinically insane at the time of the crime and if the accused fits the legal requirements for this, then under the law, they cannot be held accountable for their actions. Different states have different standards for the insanity defense. For this claim to be successful, the requirements for the state must be met. The defense can also claim that the death was a result of an accident or error in the hopes of getting the charges downgraded to an involuntary manslaughter charge as voluntary manslaughter relies on the existence of clear intent on the part of the accused.

Voluntary manslaughter cases can be complex and grueling. It is highly recommended that you consult an experienced attorney. An attorney can assist you and try to help you receive the best possible outcome for your situation.

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