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What Is Aggravated Manslaughter? (Important Laws You Need To Know)

What Is Aggravated Manslaughter - Aggravated Manslaughter In The Second Degree - Aggravated Manslaughter Sentence

What is aggravated manslaughter?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • what aggravated manslaughter is
  • how aggravated manslaughter compares to aggravated murder
  • aggravated sentences and jail time

Let’s dig in.

Table of Contents

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What Is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is causing injuries that lead to death.

You weren’t intentionally killing someone.

But your actions led to the death of another person.

First-degree manslaughter is causing premeditated injuries.

Second-degree manslaughter is causing injuries from acting recklessly.

Read More: Homicide vs Murder

Aggravated Manslaughter

In this section, you’ll learn about:

  • what is an aggravated manslaughter
  • examples of aggravated manslaughter

Read More: What Is Attempted Manslaughter?

What Is Aggravated Manslaughter?

Aggravated manslaughter is not a separate crime from manslaughter.

It’s manslaughter with “aggravating circumstances.”

These aggravating factors include things like:

  • the murder of numerous people
  • the murder of a child or pregnant woman
  • murder committed in the course of other crimes (i.e., rape, DUI, reckless driving, etc.)
  • murder motivated by bigotry
  • murder with added depravity, such as torture
  • desecration or mutilation of the corpse
  • murder with a disregard for public safety (i.e., arson)
  • the murder of a witness to a crime
  • murder for hire
  • murder using an illegal weapon
  • murder with prior convictions of an aggravated crime
  • the murder of a law enforcement official (police, firefighter, peace officer, state prison guards)

For killing a law enforcement officer, it’s either:

  • in the course of their official duties
  • in retribution for carrying out their duties

Aggravated Manslaughter Definition

Aggravated manslaughter is murder with the intent to harm, not kill.

Aggravated manslaughters are unplanned, unintentional, and not premeditated.

Requirements For Aggravated Manslaughter

Aggravated manslaughter can be 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-degree murder.

Remember that manslaughter is causing injuries that lead to death.

Because of this, people use the terms “murder” and “manslaughter” interchangeably.

While they get called the same things, they get sentenced differently.

Murder charges come with heavier fines and prison sentences.

(More on this in the below sections.)

First-degree manslaughter requirements are:

Second-degree manslaughter requirements are:

  • intent to kill
  • intent to inflict serious bodily harm
  • acting with disregard for human life (i.e., negligent homicide, culpable negligence)

Third-degree manslaughter requirements are:

It’s important that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

This can help keep you from wrongly getting charged with murder in these criminal cases.

For example, in Ohio, manslaughter with a motor vehicle is a first-class misdemeanor.

Our law firm will give you a free consultation and legal advice on your manslaughter charges.

Read More: How Many Murders Go Unsolved?

Examples Of Aggravated Manslaughter

There are three types of murders that get classified as aggravated murder.

These three types of murders are:

  • first-degree
  • second-degree
  • third-degree

First-Degree Examples

There are three types of murders that get classified as first-degree murder.

These three types of murders are:

  • premeditated murders
  • felony murders
  • murder by specific means

Premeditated murders are ones where the defendant planned out the murder.

The murder happened with the intent to kill the other person.

And there was a willful and strong desire to end the other person’s life.

Felony murders occur as a result of you committing another felony.

Let’s say that you are robbing someone’s home while they are out of town.

During the robbery, someone shows up at the house and kills one of your partners.

You did not commit the murder of your partner.

But you were committing a felony that led to your partner getting murdered.

In this case, you will get charged with the felony murder of your friend.

murder by specific means that you are committing murder with things like:

Second-Degree Examples

There are three types of murders that get classified as second-degree murder.

These three types of murders are:

Intentional murders without premeditation are intentional murders that were not planned out.

These murders are usually an act of provocation or “the heat of passion.”

This means killing a human being in the heat of the moment:

  • under reasonable provocation
  • by a reasonable person

Some states categorize this as voluntary manslaughter.

Involuntary manslaughter is unintentional killing from recklessness or criminal negligence.

Recklessness means being aware of the risk they were creating.

Negligence means they weren’t aware of the risk but should have been.

An example of negligence is a parent leaving their child in the car on a hot day and they die.

Or a tour operator not giving passengers safety protocols and one dies.

depraved indifferent murder is causing death during a reckless or dangerous act.

drunk driver killing someone is an example of depraved indifference

Third-Degree Examples

An aggravated murder can be voluntary or involuntary.

An example of voluntary murder is falling and pushing someone off a ledge on accident.

An example of involuntary murder is punching someone and unintentionally killing them.

A non-violent felony murder is someone dying while committing a non-violent felony.

Let’s say that someone dies while you are committing:

  • burglary, robbery, home invasion, arson, carjacking
  • rape, sexual battery
  • kidnapping, child abuse, human trafficking

You don’t have to kill someone to get charged with felony murder.

Let’s say that you have an accomplice and that accomplice gets shot.

You will get charged with their murder.

This is because the murder occurred due to your premeditated actions.

depraved indifferent murder is causing death during a reckless or dangerous act.

drunk driver killing someone is an example of depraved indifference.

(And is vehicular manslaughter.)

And drug consumption leading to death is another example of third-degree murder.

Let’s say you sell or give someone drugs, they consume too much, and they overdose.

You selling or giving them controlled substances leads to their death.

You will get charged with aggravated murder.

Aggravated Manslaughter Sentences

Let’s look at the charges for the different degrees of murder cases.

We have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree murder charges to look at.

First-Degree Manslaughter Charges

First-degree felony manslaughter charges carry from 6 years to 18 years in prison.

  • Idaho gives you up to 18 years in prison.
  • Illinois gives you up to 28 years in prison.
  • Mississippi gives you up to 30 years in prison.
  • Florida gives you up to 30 years in prison.
  • New York gives you up to 25 years in prison.
  • New Jersey gives you up to 30 years in prison.

The most common first-degree manslaughter charge is 30 years in prison.

Each state (jurisdiction) has its own criminal laws about a crime of the first degree.

Some give you the possibility of parole for life imprisonment while some do not.

You’ll need to reach out to a criminal defense attorney to understand your charges.

Second-Degree Manslaughter Charges

Second-degree felony manslaughter charges carry from 6 years to life in prison.

  • Louisiana gives you up to 40 years in prison.
  • Michigan gives you life in prison.
  • Florida gives you life in prison.
  • Vermont gives you at least 20 years in prison.
  • Alabama gives you at least 10 years in prison.
  • Arkansas gives you at least 6 years in prison.

Each state (jurisdiction) has its own criminal laws about second-degree manslaughter charges.

Some state laws give you the possibility of parole while some do not.

There are also elements that either:

  • increase your 2nd-degree manslaughter charges, or;
  • decrease your manslaughter charges.

Things that reduce (known as “mitigating”) your manslaughter charges are:

  • not having prior criminal records
  • having a mental illness
  • showing genuine remorse

Things that increase your 2nd-degree manslaughter charges are:

  • committing 2nd-degree murder as a hate crime
  • using excessive brutality in the murder
  • using a deadly weapon (a gun) in the murder
  • extreme indifference

Third-Degree Murder Charges

Only three states issue third-degree manslaughter charges.

Here are the manslaughter charges for third-degree murders in these three states:

For all of these, you’ll also end up with fines and probation.

Involuntary vs Voluntary Manslaughter

Let’s look at involuntary vs voluntary manslaughter. 

What Is Involuntary Manslaughter?

Involuntary manslaughter is when someone commits an unintentional act.

And that act causes injuries that lead to the death of another person.

What Is Voluntary Manslaughter?

Voluntary manslaughter is when someone commits an intentional act.

And that act causes injuries that lead to the death of another person.

What Is Attempted Manslaughter?

Attempted manslaughter is when you attempt to injure someone.

And that attempted injury would have led to their death.

Are You Facing An Aggravated Manslaughter Conviction?

If you are facing a conviction of aggravated manslaughter, fill out the form on this page.

Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience you need to defend your rights.

This way, you don’t:

  • get wrongfully convicted of criminal homicide
  • spend decades in jail needlessly
  • never see your family or loved ones again
  • get wrongfully accused of a serious crime by police officers

You deserve a fair trial in the criminal justice system.

And, if you acted in self-defense, you need someone who can prove that.

We can provide you with that.

Talk soon.

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