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What is the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter in Minnesota? Manslaughter/Murder

What is the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter in Minnesota?

5 months ago by Justin M. Schiks
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Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter are both types of homicide offenses in the State of Minnesota. Although murder involves intentionally killing another person, a manslaughter offense does not involve an intent to kill on the part of the accused. However, there are some subtle differences between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter in Minnesota.

If you are facing manslaughter charges, a conviction can land you in jail and result in other serious penalties. A Minnesota manslaughter lawyer at JS Defense, PA. can investigate your criminal charge and assist you with formulating a legal defense or negotiating a favorable plea deal with the prosecuting attorney. Please call today to learn more about how we can assist you with defending against a manslaughter charge in Minnesota.

Defining Voluntary Manslaughter

A person may be charged with voluntary manslaughter if he or she does something (or refrains from doing something) that brings about the alleged victim’s death. In Minnesota, voluntary manslaughter is sometimes referred to as a ‘heat-of-passion’ killing. A common example of a ‘heat of passion’ killing is when the accused finds his or her spouse in bed with someone else, and the accused kills the spouse. In this instance, the accused acted in the heat of passion and was likely provoked by emotion. Consequently, there is an argument that the accused did not directly intend to physically harm or kill the spouse.

Another common example of voluntary manslaughter occurs when the accused causes the alleged victim’s death unintentionally, by administering, selling, or giving away a harmful controlled substance. The alleged victim then consumes the substance and subsequently passes away.

Defining Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter is different from voluntary manslaughter, in that the alleged victim’s death occurs because of the accused’s extreme reckless behavior and/or gross negligence. One instance where an individual can be charged with involuntary manslaughter occurs in cases that involve vehicular homicide. For example, if the accused is texting or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causes an accident, and kills the other driver/passenger, then the accused may be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

A depraved-heart killing – or a killing that occurs without regard to human life – also constitutes involuntary manslaughter in Minnesota. For example, if the accused fires a gun into a moving passenger train, he or she may be charged with involuntary manslaughter if one or more individuals die as a result of this extremely careless and reckless act.

Speak to a Minnesota Manslaughter Lawyer Today

If a prosecuting attorney can demonstrate that you are guilty of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt, then you may be convicted and later sentenced. Potential sentences for involuntary manslaughter can include jail times, fines, probation, and other serious consequences.

If you are facing a criminal charge for manslaughter, don’t wait. Call the experienced legal team at JS Defense, P.A., today for representation. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Minnesota manslaughter attorney, please call us today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online to learn more. 


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