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When Can You Face Manslaughter Charges? Manslaughter/Murder

When Can You Face Manslaughter Charges?

2 years ago by Brian
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There are two types of homicide offenses in Minnesota: Murder and manslaughter, with manslaughter being the less severe charge.

However, because the loss of human life is involved, the charges of manslaughter are taken very seriously by authorities, and prosecutors often aggressively pursue manslaughter convictions. 

There are two different types of manslaughter charges, each with its own elements.

While you might face charges, you should never be convicted unless the prosecutor can prove each of these elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

To help avoid this, always seek help from a manslaughter defense lawyer in Woodbury, MN

First-Degree Manslaughter Charges

This charge most commonly applies to killings that happen in the “heat of passion.”

This means that the accused was provoked under the circumstances, though provocation cannot come from a crying child.

A regular example of first-degree manslaughter is a spouse catching the other committing adultery and snaps, resulting in a death. 

However, first-degree manslaughter does not always require a heat of passion killing. Some other allegations that can lead to charges include:

  1. Committing a killing in the course of a misdemeanor offense
  2. Leading to a death involving certain controlled substances
  3. Committed an intentional killing for self-defense or defense of others


If convicted of this charge, you can face up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $30,000. 

Second-Degree Manslaughter Charges

While first-degree manslaughter involves intentional acts, second-degree manslaughter most often applies when someone kills someone due to criminal negligence.

This charge might also apply if someone is accused of setting a snare or trap that killed someone else, killing someone due to thinking they were an animal, and similar situations. 

A conviction of second-degree manslaughter can lead to up to ten years in prison and fines up to $20,000.

Defending Against Manslaughter Charges

Because of the harsh penalties possible, you always need an experienced attorney defending against your manslaughter charges.

There are different types of legal defenses that might apply in your case, and your lawyer can present them to the court.

In addition, your attorney can strive to have your charges reduced or dropped. 


Never risk your future by assuming that a conviction of manslaughter charges is inevitable. Instead, avoid answering questions from police officers or other authorities and reach out to a defense attorney who handles homicide cases.

We know the stakes are high, and we bring every we can to the table in your defense and the protection of your rights. 


Never wait to seek legal help if you have been arrested or charged with any degree of manslaughter in Minnesota, take steps to protect yourself right away. 

A Woodbury, MN Manslaughter Attorney is Ready to Help

At JS Defense, PA., we represent clients facing many serious charges, including manslaughter and other homicide charges. We work to minimize the penalties our clients face and help them avoid convictions whenever possible.

Contact us for more information about how we can help in your Minnesota manslaughter case.  Call: 651-968-9652


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