If you or someone you love is accused of any level of manslaughter, the situation is extremely serious. Criminal homicide can be charged as murder, manslaughter, or death by auto. The penalties imposed can be up to 20 years in state prison, as well as fines and victim restitution.
In any criminal case in which another person has died, the situation is extremely serious, as these crimes are carefully and thoroughly investigated, prosecuted and penalized.
Types of Manslaughter
There are three forms of manslaughter charges that could be filed under New Jersey Statute § 2c:11-4:
- Aggravated manslaughter
- Reckless manslaughter
- Passion manslaughter as a result of reasonable provocation
A charge of manslaughter will be filed when the person is accused of recklessly causing the death of another, or in cases in which a homicide is believed to have been committed in the heat of passion resulting from "reasonable provocation." Both reckless and passion manslaughter are charged as second-degree crimes
It is clear that it would be critical in defending a charge of manslaughter to open the door to reasonable doubt that the accused had exhibited behavior that manifested extreme indifference to human life, or that the situation of "reasonable provocation" may have been an act of self-defense that resulted in the death of a person who attacked the accused, putting that person in fear of imminent harm.
What Is Aggravated Manslaughter?
In New Jersey, manslaughter is elevated to aggravated manslaughter based on the specific circumstances and factors surrounding the offense. Aggravated manslaughter is the most serious form of manslaughter, and is filed as a first-degree crime, under New Jersey Code § 2c:11-4.
The key factors that may lead to a charge of aggravated manslaughter instead of simple manslaughter include:
- Recklessness and extreme indifference: Aggravated manslaughter involves causing the death of another person under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life. This means that the accused person acted recklessly and demonstrated a callous disregard for the value of human life.
- Engagement in a Felony: Aggravated manslaughter can also occur when a person causes the death of another person while engaged in the commission of a crime. If the death occurs during the commission of a felony, such as robbery, burglary, sexual assault, arson, or certain drug offenses, the offense may be charged as aggravated manslaughter.
- Degree of recklessness: The degree of recklessness exhibited by the defendant can also contribute to the elevation of manslaughter to aggravated manslaughter. If the recklessness is particularly extreme or egregious, it may warrant a higher charge.
- Victim characteristics: The identity or characteristics of the victim may also be considered when determining whether to charge manslaughter as aggravated manslaughter. For example, if the victim is a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician (EMT), or a public transit operator, the offense may be elevated to aggravated manslaughter.
Aggravated manslaughter carries a prison sentence between 10 to 30 years and a fine of up to $200,000. If the offense involved fleeing a police officer, a conviction can result imprisonment from 10 to 20 years and a maximum fine of $200,000.
Why Hire an East Brunswick Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you are facing charges of manslaughter, your case must be carefully and professionally defended, as the consequences of a conviction will essentially end your life as you know it. Under The New Jersey No Early Release Act (NERA), those who are convicted of first and second degree crimes will be forced to serve 85% of the sentence imposed by the court.
With 20 years possible in a case of aggravated manslaughter, this is an extremely dangerous situation. Your case should be managed by an East Brunswick criminal defense attorney that will craft a compelling case to present to the jury, challenging the evidence presented by the prosecutor at every turn, and who is committed to fighting for you, your freedom and your rights.
At my firm, I take on the duty of defending manslaughter charges for my clients with a great deal of passion. I serve as defense counsel in charges of manslaughter and other serious criminal charges, and my job is to fight for my clients, and to find any possible opportunity that could be of benefit in the case. Your case could demand extensive investigation into the facts to craft a case that is successful in court. I urge you to contact the Law Offices of Ryan E. Gilbert, LLC immediately if you are under investigation in a criminal case of manslaughter or have already been charged.
Contact the Law Offices of Ryan E. Gilbert, LLC for Trusted Defense
I am an experienced East Brunswick manslaughter defense attorney, and I know what it takes to craft a case that is successful at trial. I am prepared to put in the hard work, long hours and the personal commitment to help my clients that are facing accusations in this very serious felony offense. Justice is my passion, and I have worked on a great number of very difficult criminal cases and prevailed. I know how important it is that you are protected at every step of the criminal justice process.
You can be confident that you will get honest answers, that I conduct my legal practice with integrity, and that my services are offered at reasonable rates. My office is paperless allowing me to reduce the costs of doing business, and keeping the practice highly efficient, a savings which I can pass onto my clients.
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