Strategic Representation In Manslaughter Cases
If you have been accused of manslaughter, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
How Does The Law Define Manslaughter?
Manslaughter is committed when a person recklessly causes the death of another.
What Are The Possible Consequences For A Manslaughter Conviction?
Manslaughter is a Class 4 felony. If convicted of manslaughter, a person faces sentencing for a Class 4 felony of: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to 90 days, or up to a two-year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) a sentence to the Department of Corrections of two to six years, but as much as 12 years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of three years.
What Sorts Of Defenses Can Be Made Against Manslaughter Charges?
In the case of manslaughter, the defense may center on the fact that the person did not recklessly kill anyone and that the resulting death was an accident, leading to a conviction for a lesser offense. It may also be possible to demonstrate that the killing occurred in self-defense.
Homicide cases require a comprehensive defense approach that may require the assistance of other professionals in a variety of disciplines to analyze all aspects of the case. The defense may require experts in the areas of gunshot residue (GSR), DNA, serology, emergency medicine, psychology, psychiatry, human reaction, firearms, tool marks, foot marks, tire marks, crime scene investigations and police procedure.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a manslaughter case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.