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If you or a loved one are charged with manslaughter, you already know the weight of stress and anxiety that comes with the possible conviction for the death of another human being. The varying degrees of offenses are based on a killing without malice aforethought, meaning there was no formulated plan to do so. A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can help you understand the different charges and penalties associated with each in light of your particular situation. Contact the Law Offices of David S. Chesley today to discuss the facts and circumstances of your case.
In California, voluntary manslaughter is the intentional killing of another person or acting with a conscious disregard for human life. The resulting death must be a direct, substantial, natural and probable consequence of the particular action that would not have happened otherwise. Voluntary manslaughter is differentiated from murder in that it is the result of the "heat of passion." If there is a period passing in between the heated event and the act of killing, the defendant may be charged with murder instead. The time to plan the killing points to acting with malice, which elevates the crime above voluntary manslaughter.
There may be situations where acting in self-defense or defense of another can result in a voluntary manslaughter conviction. A justifiable homicide consists of the belief that the need to use deadly force was reasonable and may be demonstrated in the defendant’s actions by the following:
If one of those two beliefs was unreasonable, a voluntary manslaughter conviction is possible. On the same note, the belief that a future danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury is not sufficient to justify the use of deadly force. The facts considered in the evaluation are:
Because of the complicated legal issues that arise in manslaughter cases, it is critical for any accused of this offense to retain a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer as soon as he or she can. Call our office today to set up a free consultation.
There are different legal defenses that may be applicable in your case in relation to your actions. Some of those include the following:
A voluntary manslaughter charge may be reduced to an involuntary manslaughter charge with a successful defense, or possibly dismissed altogether. A California criminal defense lawyer with experience in this area of law can walk you through the different defenses and determine the best possible defense for your case.
Voluntary manslaughter is charged as a felony in California. The conviction falls under the Three Strikes Rule elevating the consequences if there are any prior felony convictions on your record. The penalties may include:
In California, an involuntary manslaughter charge may arise when another human being is killed as a result of the defendant's unlawful or dangerous act. The circumstances may be that no intent or premeditation was present but criminal liability still arises. The prosecutor must show the following in order to obtain a conviction:
Criminal negligence must be present and involves more than a mistake, lapse in judgment, or general carelessness. It requires a reckless act that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury that a reasonable person would have understood.
Failure to perform a legal duty that results in the death of another also may apply to an involuntary manslaughter charge. The legal duty must be to the person who died by the defendant’s inaction through criminal negligence causing the death of another. Some relationships that this may apply to are between a parent and child, paid caretaker and client, or doctor and patient.
If no criminal intent or criminal negligence can be proven, the defendant may have a defense to an involuntary manslaughter charge. Some of those defenses include:
A successful defense will demonstrate that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to produce a conviction for involuntary manslaughter. A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney may also be able to raise arguments regarding law enforcement’s role in the investigation, making sure that all of their actions during the investigation were within the law and did not violate any of your constitutional rights.
The possible penalties for involuntary manslaughter include the following:
In California, vehicular manslaughter involves operating a vehicle and negligently committing an unlawful act or lawful act that caused the death of another. It’s important to note that the unlawful act must not be a felony act in California. If someone is killed while you are operating a vehicle and committing an act that is a felony, you may be charged with murder as opposed to vehicular manslaughter. There may also be situations where you can be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a vehicle.
Some examples of vehicular manslaughter situations include:
The penalties for involuntary manslaughter depend upon the nature of the negligence involved, whether it was ordinary or gross negligence. Ordinary negligence will likely result in a misdemeanor charge with up to one year in county jail. Gross negligence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts and circumstances of the case with consequences ranging from one year in county jail to a maximum of six years in State prison. Other fines, probation, and required programs may apply to your sentence as well.
Contact a Los Angeles Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Discuss Your Case
A charge of manslaughter is a difficult reality to face for anyone involved in a situation that results in the death of another person. A California criminal defense attorney can help you understand the legal proceedings ahead of you and explain any possible defenses you may have to your charges. The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer of the Law Offices of David S. Chesley will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the most favorable outcome possible in your situation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation at 800-755-5174 or fill out our contact form online.
The allegations of first-degree murder are one of the toughest offenses with harsh punishments for a lifetime. California has a strict legal framework for punishing those who show a disregard for human life.
Most of the murders that do not qualify the elements of first-degree murder are charged with second-degree murder.
The article 192 of the California Penal Code distinguishes manslaughter from the murder.
According to the Penal Code statute 193(b), a person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when killing results from an unlawful act, or from dangerously committing a lawful act, or because of criminal negligence.
Vehicular Manslaughter (CA Penal Code 191.5 & 192 PC) is when someone is injured or killed by the negligent operation of a vehicle.
Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!
Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!
Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.
Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!
Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that's it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David's knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn't charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David's services again in the future.