In the State of Ohio, there are two types of Manslaughter, Voluntary and Involuntary. Both crimes involve unlawfully taking the life of another individual.
As the name of the crime suggests, Voluntary Manslaughter is an intentional act. However, it also means that the victim incited their own death by provoking the killer to commit the act. Voluntary Manslaughter is commonly referred to as a “crime of passion.” Voluntary Manslaughter is always a first-degree felony.
By contrast, Involuntary Manslaughter occurs by accident. Nevertheless, it is still a crime because the victim's death is a “proximate result” of the defendant committing or attempting to commit a crime. A couple of hypothetical examples could potentially include lethally mishandling a firearm or selling narcotics that result in a deadly overdose. Involuntary Manslaughter is a first-degree felony if the victim was killed during the commission of a felony or a third-degree felony if the crime was a misdemeanor.
Manslaughter can be a useful negotiating tool in certain cases. Unlike charges such as Murder and Aggravated Murder, neither Voluntary nor Involuntary Manslaughter include the possibility of a life sentence. Prosecutors are sometimes willing to reduce charges to Manslaughter, especially if the State feels uncertain about the strength of their case.
Both kinds of Manslaughter charges are subjective in their interpretation. For example, the law is ambiguous as to what amount of provocation justifies a charge of Voluntary Manslaughter. Similarly, what qualifies as “proximate cause” for an Involuntary Manslaughter charge also depends on the specific circumstances of each case. Furthermore, prosecutors and investigators can often misjudge the facts. That is why it is crucially important to hire a skilled attorney like Christopher Fogt, who understands the complexities of these kinds of offenses and has the ability to conduct a strong defense on your behalf.
Voluntary Manslaughter (ORC 2903.03)
(A) No person, while under the influence of sudden passion or in a sudden fit of rage, either of which is brought on by serious provocation occasioned by the victim that is reasonably sufficient to incite the person into using deadly force, shall knowingly cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy.
Involuntary Manslaughter (ORC 2903.04)
(A) No person shall cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy as a proximate result of the offender's committing or attempting to commit a felony.
(B) No person shall cause the death of another or the unlawful termination of another's pregnancy as a proximate result of the offender's committing or attempting to commit a misdemeanor of any degree, a regulatory offense, or a minor misdemeanor other than a violation of any section contained in Title XLV of the Revised Code that is a minor misdemeanor and other than a violation of an ordinance of a municipal corporation that, regardless of the penalty set by ordinance for the violation, is substantially equivalent to any section contained in Title XLV of the Revised Code that is a minor misdemeanor.
Contact Fogt Law Office
Both types of Manslaughter charges carry the potential for a long prison sentence. Anyone being charged with such an offense needs a first-class attorney on their side to help them navigate the legal process. Attorney Christopher Fogt is highly experienced with handling Manslaughter and other kinds of cases in and out of court. When it comes to defending his clients, Attorney Fogt is knowledgeable, passionate, hardworking, dedicated, skilled, and an excellent communicator.