It may seem that if someone commits the act of murder and is found guilty that it would be a simple open and shut case.
The defendant is guilty as charged and next comes the sentencing phase. However, this is not the fact of the matter.
There are a number of different extenuating circumstances that leads one to commit murder.
All of those issues must be taken into consideration when determining the proper charge as well as consequences for the crime that was committed.
One example of this is the charge of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary.
Both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter may be prosecuted as either first degree or second-degree murder.
First-degree murder is a willful and premeditated murder. So it is important to understand that both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter may be premeditated, planned out and then enacted.
Second-degree murder indicates that the defendant did not premeditate or willfully plan the crime but did however intend to kill someone. It may also indicate that there was some form of accident during an intentional murder and someone (typically an innocent bystander) may have been killed.
Both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter may be charged as murder in the second degree.
Voluntary manslaughter may best be defined as killing someone in the heat of the moment, or in a fit of rage or passion. It indicates that someone was actually enticed or provoked to commit the act. It usually implies that there was no time for the defendant to calm down before they committed the crime.
Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a murder is committed due to criminal negligence, or as an accident that occurs when someone is committing another crime. Sometimes, involuntary manslaughter may be called misdemeanor manslaughter.
If you have been charged with manslaughter, first degree, or second-degree murder, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Determining what charges you are facing and what the evidence is against you is crucial to your defense strategy.