18th Jul 2017

Manslaughter charges are very serious and can result in several years behind bars, as a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can explain.   However, there may be a number of plausible defenses that a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can raise to help the defendant avoid these serious consequences.

Florida recognizes three different fact patterns that arise to manslaughter.   The first is that the defendant commits an intentional act that was not excused or justified by law and that causes the death of another.   The second is a result of procurement, or the encouraging or persuading of another person to commit the act that results in the death of another person.   Involuntary manslaughter occurs in such negligent behavior that it makes the defendant criminally culpable for the death of another.   Each of these types of charges requires the prosecutor to prove certain elements of the crime.   The first defensive option is often to attack the prosecutor’s ability to prove all of the elements of the crime by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Another potential defense is that the homicide is excusable.   This defense may arise when the killing is caused by an accident and the defendant was acting in a lawful manner with no criminal intent and using ordinary caution.   Another defense that may arise is that of self-defense.   If the victim instigated a fight with the defendant and the defendant had to defend himself, herself or a loved one from being hurt or killed.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can carefully review the charges against the defendant and the circumstances surrounding the event to determine other possible defenses.

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