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Involuntary manslaughter and other violent crimes carry penalties

Massachusetts defendants are sometimes understandably confused by the charges filed against them. This can be particularly upsetting when the criminal charges are for serious matters, such as violent crimes. Involuntary manslaughter is one such charge that often leaves defendants confused and worried about their future.

Manslaughter can be either voluntary or involuntary, and the distinction between the two is important. In both instances a victim is killed, but whether the death was intentional determines if it will be a voluntary or involuntary charge. A person acting criminally negligent who intentionally kills another in the heat of passion will likely face voluntary manslaughter charges, whereas someone behaving in the same criminal negligent manner who accidentally kills another might face involuntary allegations.

Involuntary manslaughter charges are often the result of drunk or drugged driving-related car accidents. These types of wrecks tend to satisfy the three elements of the offense. For an involuntary manslaughter charge to hold, a person must have been killed because of a defendant's actions, the defendant's actions must have been inherently dangerous or reckless to others, and the defendant must have understood that his or her behavior was a threat to others.

Even when unintentional, the death of another person is a serious criminal matter. Involuntary manslaughter and similar violent crimes can severely impact a person's future, and may impede one's ability to take part in certain educational or employment opportunities. This type of impact can usually be minimized through early and careful planning, which typically begins with a thorough review of all charges alongside defense counsel experienced in Massachusetts criminal law.

Source: FindLaw, "Involuntary Manslaughter Overview", Accessed on Nov. 30, 2017

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