What is manslaughter

June 28th, 2022

What is manslaughter

Homicide is manslaughter in Louisiana when one of these three criteria is present:

The first and most common that I see is when the homicide is committed in such passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of self-control and cool reflection. The most used example is if someone walks in and catches a spouse in bed with someone else, loses it, and kills. The key here is the homicide happened at that moment; there was no time for a person to calm down.

Second, when there is no intent to cause death or great bodily harm, but the homicide resulted from the offender engaging in certain felonies. So, when committing certain felonies and someone dies, which was an unexpected and unintended consequence, this is considered manslaughter.

Third, when the offender commits or attempts to commit a crime of violence and as part of the sequence of events from that crime results in death, and it was foreseeable that the offender’s conduct could result in death or great bodily harm, this is manslaughter. The offender does not need the intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm. This third provision is convoluted. The most common example is when a shooter fires into a crow. Someone fires back, missing the original shooter, but inadvertently killing a bystander. The original shooter has committed manslaughter. 

Penalties for manslaughter

The sentencing range for manslaughter is up to 40 years of hard labor. This is a felony. If the victim is under ten, the penalty increases to a minimum of 10 years of hard labor and a maximum of 40 years of hard labor.

Keep in mind the laws and interpretations are continually changing. The above references laws in effect as of 2022 outlined in LSA R.S. 14:31. As rulings come down from different courts and jurisdictions; these rules are apt to change. 

If you or someone you know has a question about a manslaughter charge and how to defend these cases and wants to discuss the process, do not hesitate to contact the law office of Larrion L. Hillman at 318-549-9810. Larrion Hillman practices criminal defense in Caddo Parish, Webster Parish, Bossier Parish, Shreveport, and Bossier City, Louisiana. And remember, keep calm and let Hillman handle it.

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