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New York Penal Law %c2%a7 125 15 Manslaughter Second Degree

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 26, 2023)

Last Updated on: 26th July 2023, 10:54 pm

Overview of New York PL § 125.15 – Manslaughter in the Second Degree

When an individual recklessly causes the death of another person, it constitutes the felony offense of second-degree manslaughter under New York statute. With up to 15 years in prison possible upon conviction, building an aggressive defense with an experienced violent crimes attorney is imperative.

Elements Required Under PL § 125.15

For a prosecutor to obtain a conviction for second-degree manslaughter, they must establish these elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

– The victim is deceased as a result of the defendant’s actions.
– The defendant acted recklessly in a way that showed extreme indifference to human life.
– The reckless conduct caused the death of the victim.

Unlike murder, intentional homicide is not required. But serious recklessness clearly risking death must be proven. Self-defense or accidental death may still apply as defenses.

Penalties Under Manslaughter in the Second Degree

As a Class C felony, potential penalties if convicted of second-degree manslaughter include:

– Up to 15 years in New York state prison.
– Post-release supervision for 2.5 to 5 years after release.
– Fines up to $5,000.
– Permanent felony conviction on record.

Lesser manslaughter charges may apply in some situations, with misdemeanor negligent homicide the lowest level.

How to Find the Best Manslaughter Defense Attorney

When facing charges under PL § 125.15, retaining elite homicide defense counsel is critical. Here are top tips for identifying top representation:

Look for Prior Experience Defending Manslaughter Cases

Verify the lawyer has represented many clients facing reckless homicide charges before local courts and knows common prosecutorial approaches.

Assess Their Resources and Investigative Skills

You want attorneys with relationships with forensics experts, private investigators, and other specialists to re-examine the evidence and build your defense.

Review Their History of Favorable Plea Outcomes

As over 90% of cases end in plea deals, look for consistent success negotiating substantially reduced charges with no jail time through assertive negotiation.

Compare Litigation Strengths

Top attorneys are confident filing aggressive motions, conducting intense cross-examinations, delivering powerful opening/closing arguments, and demonstrate fluency in evidence rules.

Make Sure They Have Trial Experience

If pleading out is impossible, choose lawyers proven before local juries with manslaughter and homicide trial experience specifically.

How to Select the Best Attorney for a Manslaughter Case

Choosing quality counsel involves:

Reputable criminal defense organizations can suggest lawyers with relevant homicide litigation experience.

Researching Case Results Online

Look for consistent dismissal, acquittal, and charge reduction results on their record for manslaughter and reckless homicide allegations specifically.

Comparing Initial Consultations

Schedule meetings with multiple top candidates to make direct side-by-side comparisons and choose the best match for you.

Verifying all Credentials

Independently confirm educational background, bar membership status, years of practice, and focus defending manslaughter charges.

Ensuring Strong Client Reviews

Look for consistently positive client feedback online and compelling testimonials when researching prospective attorneys.

Trusting Your Instincts

Consider factors like trust, confidence in abilities, and responsiveness when deciding on counsel you feel most reassured by.

What is the Cost for a Criminal Homicide Defense Lawyer?

The cost of retaining private counsel for a manslaughter case may include:

Attorney Experience and Reputation

Prominent attorneys specializing in homicide cases often charge $300+ hourly rates with substantial retainers given the high stakes.

Early Plea vs. Trial

Pleading out early saves significant resources compared to extensive pre-trial litigation and lengthy jury trial preparation.

Use of Expert Witnesses

Securing testimony from forensic, ballistics, accident reconstruction, and medical experts is very expensive but often necessary.

Lawyer Overhead Costs

Those with large law offices, extensive support staff, research costs, and insurance tend to bill higher rates.


Appealing to higher courts after conviction results in substantial additional legal fees and expenses.

Case Complexity

Factors like multiple defendants and lengthy investigations increase lawyer hours spent.

Be prepared for legal bills often starting at $25,000 even for early resolution, and up to $100,000+ if aggressively litigated over months. However, charges can potentially be defeated pre-trial depending on the evidence and your lawyer’s skills. Contact the Spodek Law Group at (917) 810-8510 for urgent case consultation and counsel. Let’s start building an assertive defense strategy immediately.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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