Manslaughter is a serious criminal offense that involves the unintentional death of another person. A Lincoln manslaughter lawyer can go to battle on your behalf and fight your manslaughter charges.
While the penalties associated with manslaughter charges are less severe than murder, a conviction could still result in a lengthy prison sentence and completely change your future. The potential penalties are severe in any case involving the death of another person, so it is important that you consult with an experienced homicide defense lawyer.
Manslaughter Charges in Lincoln
Nebraska Revised Statutes §28-305 defines manslaughter as causing the death of another without malice during a sudden fight or argument or unintentionally killing someone while committing a crime. Manslaughter does not involve intent, but it usually requires behavior that is reckless, criminally negligent, or illegal. Any intent on the part of the actor to cause a death would make the offense murder as opposed to manslaughter.
For example, if a person points a loaded gun at others and the firearm accidentally discharges and kills them, they would be charged with manslaughter. Similarly, if an individual throws a heavy object at others intending to scare them, but the object strikes them in the head and kills them, the individual may face manslaughter charges.
Seeking aggressive legal representation may be in your best interests if you are facing manslaughter charges, as the penalties for this crime can be harsh. A lawyer in Lincoln can help determine whether the manslaughter charges brought against you are appropriate given the circumstances.
The Burden of Proof
Just like in any criminal proceeding, the burden of proof in a manslaughter case is on the prosecution. This means, for the defendant to be convicted, prosecution must show that the defendant committed the offense ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ To meet this burden, the prosecution must establish that the accused person unintentionally caused the death of another person by engaging in unlawful acts. In other words, they must show that the defendant broke the law in some way, and their illegal actions must have been the direct cause of the person’s death. If the prosecution cannot make that crucial connection, then there may not be sufficient evidence for a manslaughter conviction.
Penalties for Lincoln Manslaughter Offenses
Manslaughter is a Class IIA felony offense under state law. Although there is no mandatory minimum prison sentence for a Class IIA felony conviction, the maximum term is 20 years.
However, certain circumstances could lead to enhanced penalties. For example, Neb. Rev. Stat. §28-111 states that if someone commits manslaughter based on the race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or other protected characteristics, they can face the next penalty classification instead of the penalties associated with manslaughter.
Specifically, it could lead to a Class II felony instead of a Class IIA felony. The difference in these punishments can be significant. As opposed to receiving a maximum of 20 years for a manslaughter conviction, people who commit manslaughter based on a protected characteristic could face up to 50 years in prison. They may also be subject to a one-year minimum prison sentence.
Call a Lincoln Manslaughter Attorney Today
Facing manslaughter charges can be stressful and overwhelming. The outcome of the case will change your life forever. A Lincoln manslaughter lawyer could work with you to fight your charges.
Instead of trying to go to battle on your own, let our team of strong legal advocates help you fight these allegations. Together, we can determine the best defense strategy in your case. Call Berry Law today to get started.