In legal terms, manslaughter is not quite as serious as murder. The essential difference between the two crimes is that murder involves “malice aforethought” while manslaughter does not. Nonetheless, being accused of manslaughter is extremely serious, and a conviction can lead to harsh consequences. It is always advisable to hire a qualified Las Vegas manslaughter attorney as soon as possible.
Nevada law recognizes three distinct types of manslaughter: voluntary, involuntary and vehicular. Each is defined under a different law and may result in distinctly different punishments. Voluntary manslaughter, which is charged under NRS 200.050, is typically brought against people who mentally snapped in a moment of extreme emotional duress. For instance, one person who kills another in a fit of road rage may be charged under this law as would someone who killed a cheating spouse upon discovering them in bed with someone else. A Nevada State Prison term of between one and 10 years and a fine of not more than $10,000 may be imposed on someone who is convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
Involuntary manslaughter, which is defined under NRS 200.070, may be the charge if the defendant’s negligence caused the death of another person. Examples of involuntary manslaughter may include a drunk driver who hits and kills a pedestrian or someone who is playing with a gun and accidentally shoots another person. Penalties for involuntary manslaughter in Nevada can include between one and four years in state prison as well as a fine of as much as $5,000.
NRS 484B.657 defines vehicular manslaughter as a misdemeanor crime. This is because it involves “simple negligence,” meaning that the driver perhaps failed to stop at a red light or was traveling at just a bit over the speed limit. Texting and driving or driving without headlights can also result in vehicular manslaughter charges if another person is killed while a driver is engaged in these infractions. The consequences for vehicular manslaughter in Las Vegas may include six months in jail, fines of up to $1,000 and a license suspension.
Contact criminal defense lawyers if you are facing manslaughter charges in Las Vegas.