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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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Manslaughter Charges: How an Aggressive Defense Lawyer Can Challenge Them

By Spodek Law Group | October 20, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 21, 2023)

Last Updated on: 21st October 2023, 08:41 am


Manslaughter Charges: How an Aggressive Defense Lawyer Can Challenge Them

Understanding Manslaughter Charges

Manslaughter is generally defined as an unlawful killing that does not involve malice aforethought (intent to kill) like murder charges. There are two main categories of manslaughter:

  • Voluntary manslaughter – This applies when the defendant intended to kill the victim but acted in the heat of passion after being provoked. For example, catching a spouse cheating and killing them in a fit of rage. Voluntary manslaughter carries up to 11 years in prison.
  • Involuntary manslaughter – This covers unintentional killings that result from criminal negligence or reckless actions. For instance, accidentally killing someone while driving drunk. Involuntary manslaughter can bring up to 4 years in prison.

Manslaughter laws vary somewhat by state but all treat it as a serious felony offense. Prosecutors typically pursue manslaughter charges when they believe a murder conviction would be unlikely due to lack of intent or premeditation. However, manslaughter defendants still face steep consequences if convicted.

How an Aggressive Lawyer Attacks the Prosecution’s Case

When representing a client charged with manslaughter, an aggressive defense lawyer will work relentlessly to undermine the prosecution’s accusations and create reasonable doubt regarding guilt. Common strategies include:

  • Contesting the cause of death – The defense may argue that the victim’s death was actually caused by something other than the defendant’s actions, like an undiagnosed medical condition. This can defeat manslaughter charges that require directly causing another’s death.
  • Disputing intent and state of mind – For voluntary manslaughter, the lawyer may claim the defendant was not actually acting in a heat of passion and their intent does not meet legal requirements. For involuntary, they can argue the client was not criminally negligent.
  • Challenging incriminating evidence – If evidence like blood alcohol tests or weapon residue results are mishandled or contaminated, an aggressive lawyer can possibly get them thrown out of court. This weakens the prosecution’s case.
  • Questioning witness credibility – Witness accounts often play a big role in manslaughter trials. The defense attorney will look for inconsistencies, biases, and other ways to undermine witness credibility.
  • Investigating the victim’s background – The lawyer may dig into the victim’s history to uncover criminal associations, drug problems, or mental health issues that may provide an alternative explanation for their death.
  • Presenting expert witnesses – Respected experts like medical examiners and toxicologists can be called to testify in ways that contradict the prosecution’s version of events surrounding the victim’s death.
  • Negotiating for lesser charges – Based on weaknesses in the state’s case, the attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor and secure a plea deal for reduced charges like negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter instead of voluntary manslaughter.

Why an Aggressive Lawyer Is Critical for Manslaughter Defense

Facing criminal charges as serious as manslaughter can feel completely overwhelming. The future looks bleak. Jail time seems imminent. Your life is turned upside down.

But skilled and relentless criminal defense lawyers know how to attack the prosecution’s case, create doubt around guilt, uncover exonerating evidence, and negotiate for reduced charges or dismissal when possible. An aggressive manslaughter defense lawyer will:

  • Thoroughly examine all evidence, police reports, autopsy results and witness statements to identify inconsistencies and inaccuracies.
  • Tenaciously investigate the victim’s background and associations to uncover alternative explanations for their death.
  • Work tirelessly to undermine witness credibility through intense cross-examination.
  • Hire respected expert witnesses to contradict the prosecution’s version of events.
  • File motions to have illegally obtained evidence thrown out of court.
  • Negotiate aggressively with prosecutors to have charges reduced when appropriate.
  • Present emotional opening and closing arguments to create reasonable doubt of guilt in jurors’ minds.
  • Remain constantly on the offensive against the prosecution’s accusations.
  • Exhaust every possible angle to attack the state’s manslaughter case against you.

The consequences of a manslaughter conviction are too severe to take chances with your defense. An aggressive lawyer who will fight relentlessly on your behalf is critical. Don’t leave your future in the hands of an overworked public defender. Hire the best private criminal defense attorney you can. It may very well make the difference between prison time and your charges being reduced or dismissed.


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