Among other circumstances, Manslaughter commonly occurs when a person causes the death of another without the specific intent to kill that person. It is a serious offense that can carry significant penalties including significant jail time. Contact a Brooklyn criminal lawyer at Epstein & Conroy, P.C. by calling (718) 852-6763 today to discuss the facts of your case.
What is Manslaughter Under New York Law?
Under New York law, there are different types and degrees of Manslaughter. Each type of Manslaughter has specific, distinct elements that must be proven by the prosecution in order for a defendant to be found guilty.
Vehicular Manslaughter. Under New York law Vehicular Manslaughter is covered by three statutes.
- Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree. Generally, vehicular manslaughter in the first degree occurs when someone commits the crime of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree and additional factors are present, like operating the motor vehicle while having a high level of intoxication or where a child is killed.
- Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree. Generally, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree occurs when someone kills another by operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
- Aggravated Vehicular Homicide. A vehicular manslaughter charge can be elevated to aggravated vehicular homicide when a driver drives recklessly and certain additional factors are presents, such as a high level of intoxication, a suspended license, a prior conviction, the death of more than one person, or the death of a child.
Manslaughter. There are two categories of manslaughter under New York law.
- Manslaughter in the First Degree. Among other possible circumstances, Manslaughter in the First Degree generally occurs when someone acts with the intent to cause serious physical injury to another person and the action results in death.
- Manslaughter in the Second Degree. Generally, Manslaughter in the Second Degree occurs when someone recklessly causes the death of another person. “Recklessly” carries its own special definition under New York law.
Aggravated Manslaughter. Typically, Aggravated Manslaughter occurs when there are special circumstances surrounding the killing.
- Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree. Typically, Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree occurs when the accused intends to cause serious physical injury to a police officer but where the action results in the officer’s death.
- Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree. Typically, Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree occurs when the accused recklessly causes the death of a police officer. “Recklessly” carries its own special definition under New York law.
The distinction between the various types of Manslaughter can be confusing. One of the criminal defense attorneys at Epstein & Conroy, P.C. will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected under the Federal Constitution and New York law.
What is the Difference Between Manslaughter and Murder?
The general difference between manslaughter and murder involves the defendant’s “state of mind” at the time of the death. It is typically held that if there was intent to kill then the proper charge is likely murder. If there was no intent to kill, but where the defendant acted recklessly, then a manslaughter charge is generally more likely.
To demonstrate a state of mind a prosecutor will offer evidence that shows that the accused acted either intentionally or recklessly. To do so, the prosecutor may offer witness testimony or the results of a sobriety test among other possibilities.
How Can Epstein & Conroy, P.C. Help?
Raising the proper defense to a manslaughter charge is a delicate and precise decision. At Epstein & Conroy, P.C., we believe that our experience and relentless will to win sets us apart from other criminal defense firms in New York. We can help before, during, and after an arrest to make sure that your rights are protected. We take our responsibilities toward our clients seriously and look forward to helping you and your family. Contact us online or call (718) 852-6763 to discuss your case.