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1st and 2nd Degree Manslaughter? Manslaughter/Murder

1st and 2nd Degree Manslaughter?

2 years ago by Brian
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The loss of human life is a tragic event, and the law takes this seriously. Because these killings occur under various circumstances, some that are justified and others not, the law treats the incidents differently, depending on those circumstances. 

The most serious of these offenses is murder in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree. The less consequential offenses that fall under Minnesota homicide laws are 1st and 2nd-degree manslaughter. Both are lesser included offenses in the murder category – meaning that the government does not always start by charging someone with either of the offenses. Rather, the government might charge the person with murder but asks the jury to convict them of the lesser offense if they cannot bring themselves to convict on the more serious murder charges.

No matter what charges you face, it is essential that you have trusted criminal defense representation

Manslaughter in the 1st Degree

Manslaughter in the 1st degree involves causing the death of another person in any of the ways described in the Minnesota Criminal Code 609.20, including the following:

  1. Intentionally causing the death of another person in the heat of passion when provoked by words or acts said or done by the other person that would provoke anyone with ordinary self-control under the same circumstances. The crying of a child is expressly excluded as something that can constitute provocation.
  2. Acting in violation of assault laws and causing the death of another or causing a death while committing a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offense with such violence that death or great bodily harm was inevitable and reasonably foreseeable.
  3. Proximately causing the death of another person but unintentionally by unlawfully selling or making drugs available to others.

A conviction for 1st-degree manslaughter brings with it exposure to imprisonment for not more than 15 years, paying fines up to $30,000, or both.

Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree

Manslaughter in the 2nd degree involves causing the death of someone else by any of the ways listed under Minnesota Criminal Code 609.205, including the following:

  1. Negligence that gave rise to unreasonable risk and consciously taking chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another person
  2. Negligently mistaking a person for a deer or animal and shooting them with a firearm or dangerous weapon (typically the result of a hunting accident)
  3. Permitting any animal one knows has vicious propensities or has previously caused physical harm to someone to run uncontrolled from their home, or failing to keep the animal properly confined.

A conviction for 2nd-degree manslaughter brings with it exposure to imprisonment for not more than ten years, paying fines up to $20,000, or both.

Speak with a Woodbury, MN 1st & 2nd Degree Manslaughter Attorney

If you or a family member has been charged with any of these offenses, it is crucial to immediately contact our office today for a free consultation. In certain situations, there are things we can do that can make a difference in a case if we are retained early enough in the process. Call: 651-362-9426

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Justin M. Schiks who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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