9th Aug 2016

Some of the most serious crimes that a criminal defense attorney in Miami Dade handles involve manslaughter.  This crime is defined as killing another by an intentional act.  There may be no intent behind the kill itself, but the intent may be wrapped up with the intent to perform the act that led to death.  A criminal Defense Attorney in Miami Dade can explain the potential punishments for being convicted of a crime of this gravity as well as potential defenses that may be raised.

 Potential Punishments

 There are a variety of manslaughter charges that a person can face each with a separate potential punishment.  Manslaughter without the use of a weapon or absent aggravating factors is a second degree felony with a potential term of imprisonment of 15 years.  With a firearm or other weapon, the offense is considered a first degree felony with twice as much time possible.  If the victim is a child, a law enforcement officer, an EMT, a firefighter, disabled or elderly, the maximum sentence is 30 years in prison.

 Possible Defenses

 The applicability of any particular defense relies on the particular circumstances and facts of the case.  In some cases, the allegation may be the result of mistaken identity.  The prosecution bears the burden of showing that the particular defendant was responsible for the crime.  In some cases, it was not possible that the defendant could have committed the act because he or she was somewhere else at the time of the manslaughter.  Even if a death occurred, it may not be manslaughter if the death was caused by an accident while the defendant was exercising ordinary caution.  If the defendant was defending himself or herself or someone else, self-defense rules may apply.

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