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When facing a manslaughter charge it is imperative that you have the advice of trusted specialist from the earliest possible stage of the police investigation.
Unlike murder, a charge of manslaughter indicates that the police believe there was a lack of intention on the part of defendant. For example, he or she may have struck the deceased during a fight but without any desire or calculation to cause fatal injury.
When mounting a charge of voluntary manslaughter the prosecution will maintain that the defendant intended to cause significant harm but not death. In most proven cases of voluntary manslaughter it can be said that the accused acted in "the heat of passion" and under the kinds of pressures that might result in a reasonable person becoming mentally and emotionally disturbed.
Voluntary manslaughter defence
Criminal defence solicitors can help defendants make one of three partial defences to charges of voluntary manslaughter. These are as follows:
- Diminished responsibility – the defendant was suffering from some "abnormality of mind" which impaired responsibility and in turn caused his or her actions
- Provocation (loss of control) –the defendant was suffering from an unforeseen and temporary loss of control arising as a result of a particular set of circumstances
- Suicide pact - the defendant survived a joint suicide pact
In a charge of involuntary manslaughter (also known as constructive manslaughter) the prosecution will contend that an unintentional killing took place as a result of a reckless act or criminal negligence. Another example is where the act took place as a consequence of dangerous unlawful act that was likely to cause bodily harm – for example, drink-driving.
Oratto, manslaughter defence solicitors
Oratto gives you the ability to make intelligent and informed choices about your legal representation but without cost or obligation on your part. For more information regarding your rights and choices, chat online with an advisor, speak free with a criminal defence solicitor for thirty minutes or try our Match Service.
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