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Voluntary manslaughter is defined as intentionally causing the death of a person without justification. It is a serious felony with strict punishment and is different than murder because the act of killing is not done with deliberation, premeditation, or committed with malice. Voluntary Manslaughter is considered a crime of passion, not a crime of malicious intent, and there are defenses to the crime. You may have been justifiably provoked and acted in the heat of the moment.
What Voluntary Manslaughter Attorneys Can Do
Voluntary manslaughter defense attorneys specialize in representing persons accused of the crime of voluntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter defendants may actually be facing multiple charges within the crime of homicide and voluntary manslaughter is one of the lesser possible outcomes. It is the defense attorney's job to help each client receive the most just outcome to his or her case.
Your attorney will:
- Explain voluntary manslaughter law
- The range of prison sentences that you are facing isten carefully to your side of the story
- Ask questions
- Be at your side during police interrogations to advise you and protect your constitutional rights.
- Present mitigating factors to reduce the amount of bail or the possibility of release on your promise to appear for all court proceedings
- Study the police investigative reports, witness statements, and evidence looking for police misconduct, discrepancies in witness statements, gaps in the evidence, and compare and contrast these with your version of the killing
- Build your defense theory
As your case moves forward, your lawyer will take statements under penalty of perjury of investigators, witnesses, and expert witnesses. He or she will develop witnesses to testify on your behalf, handle all pretrial motions, and challenge the admissibility of certain evidence. If you decide to enter a plea, your attorney will negotiate a plea bargain for you but you are not required to accept it, nor is a judge required to accept it.
If your case goes to trial, your attorney will challenge the statements of witnesses, object to the questions asked by the prosecutor, and present the best defense possible under the circumstances of the crime and admissible evidence.
Should you be convicted, your attorney will present mitigating evidence to reduce your sentence. If an issue of law – not fact – occurs your attorney will advise you if an appeal of your conviction is possible.
Should I Hire a Voluntary Manslaughter Defense Attorney?
Absolutely, and you must have legal representation at the earliest possible moment, even if you are only a suspect, because anything you say to police is admissible in court. If you have been charged with voluntary manslaughter you are facing the possibility of imprisonment if you are convicted. It is advisable that you talk with an experienced voluntary manslaughter defense attorney and obtain legal guidance.
An attorney will be able to review your specific case and counsel you on the right defense for voluntary manslaughter charges. Any criminal charge is a serious matter. Retaining legal representation is critical to presenting the best legal defense possible.
Click to learn about Voluntary Manslaughter Law on LawInfo.