First Degree Manslaughter
1st DEGREE MANSLAUGHTER UNDER WASHINGTON LAW
Manslaughter in the first degree is the crime where a person either: (1) recklessly” causes the death of another person; or, (2) intentionally and unlawfully kills an unborn child by inflicting any injury upon the mother of such child.
According to Washington law, a person acts “recklessly” when: (1) he or she knows of and disregards a substantial risk that a wrongful act may occur; and, (2) his or her disregard of such a risk is a gross deviation from conduct that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.
Manslaughter in the first degree is a Class A felony. The crime is punishable by:
- a maximum state prison term of life in prison, and/or
- a maximum fine of $50,000.
Note, though, that most defendants without a prior criminal history who are convicted of this offense will receive a prison term of between six and a half years to eight and a half years. For people with a prior history, the sentence will be much longer.
DEFENSES FOR MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES
Criminal defense attorneys use several different legal strategies, or defenses, to challenge accusations of manslaughter. One example is that a defense lawyer may demonstrate to the judge or jury that the defendant was not acting recklessly. The attorney can make this showing by highlighting those facts that negate a finding that the accused was acting carelessly. An attorney may also show that:
- the defendant was incorrectly identified as the perpetrator;
- the defendant was somewhere else at the time of the death (alibi); or
- the police arrested the defendant as a result of an unlawful search or seizure.
Please know that a successful legal defense will require a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. The talented criminal lawyers at Back & Askerov have the grit, determination, and prowess that makes all the difference. Our firm’s homicide lawyers have over 25 years of combined experience fighting for clients accused of manslaughter. They have the fortitude and passion to uphold your rights and defend your freedoms. Contact them now.