Most understand involuntary manslaughter as when the death of a person is never the intent of the one charged with the crime. Because it is still related to heavier offenses such as homicide and murder, involuntary holds consequences. Where involuntary manslaughter often involves accidental tragedies, people can find themselves trying to defend themselves against these charges. To help people in such predicaments, we at Kajioka & Associates, Attorneys at Law, would like to explore the basics of involuntary manslaughter in Nevada.
Definition of Involuntary Manslaughter
“The killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, in the commission of an unlawful act, or a lawful act which probably might produce such a consequence in an unlawful manner…” is the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) definition of involuntary manslaughter in Nevada. To simplify it, when a person does something negligently and recklessly that leads another person to die, it is considered involuntary manslaughter. For an example, improperly setting a firearm, if you did not ensure it was unloaded one final time beforehand, which causes an accidental firing of the person holding a loaded weapon that was assumingly unloaded. Another instance is when a ride attendant for a roller coaster fails to ensure that belts are secured in a ride, which results in people falling off with fatalities. The definition of involuntary manslaughter can be complex, but it boils down to two factors which are: Misdemeanor Manslaughter and Criminal Negligent Manslaughter. Misdemeanor manslaughter is when you kill someone while engaged in a misdemeanor whereas criminal negligent manslaughter is when you fail to act on a responsibility that leads to someone’s death.
Involuntary Manslaughter Sentence & Fines
In Nevada, one of the mildest types of penalties out of crimes involving the killing of a person are the involuntary manslaughter penalties. However, comparing it to standard misdemeanor cases, the consequences are severe. If found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Nevada, it means a category D felony sentence, which includes prison term of 1-4 years and fines that are at least $5,000. This applies to criminal negligence manslaughter and misdemeanor manslaughter.
Defenses for Involuntary Manslaughter Cases
There can be many defenses one can use being that the definition of involuntary manslaughter is the act of someone not intending to kill the victim. However, whether you had planned it or not, the defense of no harm intended should be ruled out as there is obvious harm done. Below are a few defense strategies an experienced criminal defense attorney may use.
1) Self-Defense. You are well within your rights to fight back if someone is trying to harm you. For instance, if someone rushes with a knife intending to use it and you managed to hold the knife back and it accidentally stabbed the attacker during the struggle, this would be self-defense. You were simply defending yourself and had no intention of killing though the court will impose you with involuntary manslaughter.
2) Minimizing Negligence. If the negligence is severe or is gross negligence, in Nevada (and most other states) one can only be sentenced to involuntary manslaughter. Showing proof countering that you were negligent in the deathful situation, and you had no control over the circumstances can increase the chance of you being acquitted.
Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Business Attorneys & More in Greater Las Vegas, Nevada
There are many avenues a reputable defense attorney can take that is specific to your case. Call Kajioka & Associates, Attorneys at Law for a consultation.