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Las Vegas Manslaughter Defense Attorney

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

Manslaughter Defense Attorney In Las Vegas, NV

Even if you are charged with the lesser offense of manslaughter instead of homicide, the potential repercussions can be dire, including jail time and hefty fines being only two examples. But what qualifies as manslaughter in Nevada? According to NRS § 200.040, it is an unlawful killing without any prior intention or malice aforethought.


If you have been arrested for manslaughter in Nevada, it is essential that you act now to preserve your future. At the Spartacus Law Firm, our Las Vegas manslaughter defense attorney provides knowledgeable and experienced legal muscle to help build your defense. Reach out today for a free initial case evaluation to learn more about the charges against you and how we can help protect your rights.

Definition Of Manslaughter Charges In Nevada

Manslaughter is a distinct criminal offense defined as the act of unlawfully killing another person without intending it or with malicious intent. There are two kinds of manslaughter in Nevada:

  • Voluntary Manslaughter; and
  • Involuntary Manslaughter.

Vehicular Manslaughter and Justifiable Homicide are offenses that bear resemblance to manslaughter. Voluntary Manslaughter is an impulsive and intentional act that occurs in the “heat of passion”. If a situation provokes anger or rage, but there is not enough time to assess it rationally before committing the killing, then this kind of manslaughter may be applicable. In other words, no matter how angry or violent one might become due to certain events; without sufficient time for them to cool off and think logically about their actions, voluntary manslaughter could still apply.

Voluntary Manslaughter is a Category B felony that carries with it stringent penalties. All those convicted of this crime face at least one year in prison and could be handed up to 10 years plus fines reaching $10,000. It’s clear that Nevada takes these matters seriously so there are no leniences granted when found guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which is why it’s so important to have an experienced Las Vegas manslaughter defense attorney in your corner.

Types of Manslaughter Charges

Three types of manslaughter are legally acknowledged in Nevada; each has its own precise definition but, regardless, all may lead to serious repercussions. The three distinct legal labels for manslaughter in the state of Nevada:

Involuntary Manslaughter

In Nevada, involuntary manslaughter is a criminal offense outlined in NRS § 200.070 that involves the unintentional killing of another individual during an illegal or irresponsible act. As it is considered to be less severe than second-degree murder (which generally entails unintentionally taking someone else’s life with grave carelessness), voluntary manslaughter in Nevada ranks as a Category D felony, punishable by 1-4 years behind bars and fines up to $5,000.

1. Except under the circumstances provided in NRS 484B.550 and 484B.653, involuntary manslaughter is the killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, in the commission of an unlawful act, or a lawful act which probably might produce such a consequence in an unlawful manner, but where the involuntary killing occurs in the commission of an unlawful act, which, in its consequences, naturally tends to destroy the life of a human being, or is committed in the prosecution of a felonious intent, the offense is murder.
2. Involuntary manslaughter does not include vehicular manslaughter as described in NRS 484B.657.

Voluntary Manslaughter

When an individual gets so angry that they take someone’s life, it is called voluntary manslaughter. It only applies if a reasonable person in the same position would have experienced similar “passion.” The sequence of events must be as follows:

  1. A person suffers a terrible wrong that would upset any normal human being,
  2. The person mentally snaps over having been wronged so unjustly,
  3. In a sudden, heated, violent impulse, the person immediately kills the wrongdoer.

For a homicide to be deemed as voluntary manslaughter, the provocation that sparks an uncontrollable violent response must be of considerable magnitude.

Voluntary manslaughter is often associated with the scene of an individual catching their partner in bed with someone else and committing homicide. It’s important to note that there is no such crime as “attempted manslaughter” since it would imply intentional maliciousness, which completely contradicts the legal definition of manslaughter.

Vehicular Manslaughter

According to NRS 484C.130, a motorist may only be charged with vehicular homicide if they fall into one of these three categories:

Thankfully, vehicular homicide laws are specifically designated for repeat DUI offenders. Nevertheless, Nevada additionally has a distinct offense of vehicular manslaughter that could potentially be charged instead if no drugs or alcohol were present in the incident. If the prosecution believes that you were recklessly driving and disregarding life in connection with an accident, they can charge you with the heinous crime of vehicular homicide.

Committing vehicular manslaughter in Nevada comes with a range of consequences, such as suspending your license for 1 year; paying up to $1000 in fines; and being incarcerated for 6 months. Fortunately, after 2 years have passed from the case closure date, you may be able to get this offense sealed off your record.

At the Spartacus Law Firm, our Las Vegas manslaughter defense attorney is ready to help you manage any manslaughter charges that arise in Nevada. We’ll start working on your case instantly to construct the strongest possible defense for your advantage. Contact our office today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.

1. A person commits vehicular homicide if the person:

(a) Drives or is in actual physical control of a vehicle on or off the highways of this State and:

(1) Is under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
(2) Has a concentration of alcohol of 0.10 or more in his or her blood or breath;
(3) Is found by measurement within 2 hours after driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.10 or more in his or her blood or breath;
(4) Is under the influence of a controlled substance or is under the combined influence of intoxicating liquor and a controlled substance;
(5) Inhales, ingests, applies or otherwise uses any chemical, poison or organic solvent, or any compound or combination of any of these, to a degree which renders the person incapable of safely driving or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle; or
(6) Has a prohibited substance in his or her blood or urine, as applicable, in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount set forth in subsection 3 or 4 of NRS 484C.110;
(b) Proximately causes the death of another person while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle on or off the highways of this State; and
(c) Has previously been convicted of at least three offenses.
 
2. If consumption is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, it is an affirmative defense under subparagraph (3) of paragraph (a) of subsection 1 that the defendant consumed a sufficient quantity of alcohol after driving or being in actual physical control of the vehicle, and before his or her blood or breath was tested, to cause the defendant to have a concentration of alcohol of 0.10 or more in his or her blood or breath. A defendant who intends to offer this defense at a trial or preliminary hearing must, not less than 14 days before the trial or hearing or at such other time as the court may direct, file and serve on the prosecuting attorney a written notice of that intent.
 
3. As used in this section, “offense” means:
(a) A violation of NRS 484C.110484C.120 or 484C.430;
(b) A homicide resulting from driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance or resulting from any other conduct prohibited by this section or NRS 484C.110 or 484C.430; or
(c) A violation of a law of any other jurisdiction that prohibits the same or similar conduct as set forth in paragraph (a) or (b).

Common Defenses Against Manslaughter Charges In Nevada

If you’re facing manslaughter charges in Nevada, a criminal defense lawyer at our firm can help develop an effective defense for your situation. Our team utilizes various strategies such as thorough trial preparation, aggressive settlement negotiations with prosecutors, and utilization of other techniques that are proven to be successful in these cases. Some of the best defenses for violent crimes include the following:

Insufficient Evidence

For criminal defense lawyers, proving the defendant’s innocence is a primary goal. To do this, they must demonstrate that there isn’t sufficient evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. If successful in their attempt of convincing the court, then the accused will be acquitted of all charges.

Procedural Errors

Despite the many safeguards in our legal framework, errors can still occur. In some cases, a Las Vegas manslaughter defense lawyer may be able to have an accused person’s manslaughter charge dismissed if they can show that procedural mistakes prevented the defendant from receiving a fair trial.

Police Misconduct

Law enforcement personnel must adhere to precise protocols when performing searches, seizures, arrests, and interrogations. Should a police officer fail to comply with these regulations while apprehending someone in connection with manslaughter or gathering evidence related thereto, the accused’s lawyer can take legal action by submitting an application for suppression of material proof or complete dismissal of charges.

Self-Defense

Nevada state laws grant you the right to utilize lethal force in self-defense when faced with imminent harm or death. In certain scenarios, a defendant can use self-defense as an acceptable justification for manslaughter if they acted reasonably under the circumstances.

Genuine Accident

In the event of a genuine accident that leads to someone’s death, manslaughter charges will not be imposed unless evidence has been presented that shows the defendant was acting negligently or unlawfully during said person’s passing.

Insanity

In cases of extreme mental instability, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, where the individual is unable to recognize their own actions and behavior due to delusions or insanity, they may be excused from guilt through the concept of “not guilty by reason of insanity.” Yet this is an exceptionally intricate defense that could potentially lead to institutionalization even if proven successful.

An experienced manslaughter defense attorney in Las Vegas can go over the details of your case and help decide on a legal strategy that is suitable to your personal situation. They will also advise you about what could be feasible in terms of results, as well as guide you through every step along the way.

Examples Of Involuntary Manslaughter

In Nevada, involuntary manslaughter carries a legal definition that states “a human being is killed without intent to do so in the course of an unlawful act or a lawful activity conducted in an illegal manner”. The distinction between this and second-degree murder charges lies in recklessness not present. Examples of such scenarios include:

  • Mishandling a loaded gun, causing it to fire and kill someone
  • Mistaking someone for an animal and shooting them while hunting
  • Causing a child’s death by leaving a poisonous chemical within their reach

Reckless Driving Causing Death In Nevada

When it comes to criminal responsibility, reckless driving is considered more culpable than negligence-based vehicular manslaughter due to the willful disregard for safety. When an individual displays dangerous behaviors like speeding or substance abuse while operating a vehicle and results in the death of another person, they face criminal penalties according to Nevada state law. Reckless driving causing death is typically charged as a felony charge rather than manslaughter and carries harsher consequences relative to its lesser counterpart.

Vehicular Homicide vs Vehicular Manslaughter

Vehicular homicide is a distinct criminal offense from vehicular manslaughter and should not be confused with one another. Vehicular homicide occurs when an individual causes a fatal accident while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and has three prior DUI convictions, making it a felony in Nevada that holds the potential for life imprisonment-the utmost serious consequence after such an incident.

Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Justifiable Homicide?

When a person kills in defense of their home, property, or self against an intruder whose intent is to commit harm – this killing may be considered justifiable homicide. Generally speaking, the legal system will view the such act as a valid defense for any murder charges brought against them.

Living in Nevada means that you are not required to retreat before resorting to the use of deadly force, so long as you were not the initial instigator. Additionally, it must be established that you had a legitimate reason for being present at the location and could not have been participating in any unlawful activity. The fear which prompted your defensive action has to appear sensible from an outsider’s perspective and should never be motivated by revenge.

What Are the Differences Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter?

It’s important to note that both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter are considered subcategories of homicide, making them lesser offenses. The key difference between these lower offenses and murder is the lack of intent involved in both cases.

By contrast, unintentional manslaughter transpires when a perpetrator carries out an illegal act that is not as severe as a felony, such as larceny, and it results in death. This disparity between the two offenses is one of the essential distinguishing factors.

Voluntary manslaughter involves an intentional act, often sparked by provocation. On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter is a reckless action taken of one’s own free will – for example in cases such as drunk driving homicides. Thus, while voluntary manslaughter does not always occur accidentally, it can be said that accidental behavior generally leads to involuntary manslaughter.

Is Involuntary Manslaughter In Nevada The Same As Excusable Homicide By Misadventure?

Absolutely not. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone unintentionally kills another person. On the other hand, excusable homicide by misadventure is defined as a permissible activity with no negligence involved, like working away from home for example; and an individual may be killed due to an accident such as if somebody’s ax slips off its top and strikes them – the death being neither premeditated nor caused by any carelessness or recklessness from anyone in particular.

What’s The Difference Between Voluntary Manslaughter vs Murder?

Unlike murder, manslaughter is done without any of the following:

  1. Premeditation,
  2. Deliberation, or
  3. Malice aforethought

For an act of homicide to be considered manslaughter, the person committing it must react in a split second after being provoked. If even just one or two short minutes have passed between the provocation and the killing, then a jury may see that as evidence that enough time had elapsed for premeditation, thus making this incident legally murder instead.

Voluntary manslaughter is a distinct offense from involuntary manslaughter (NRS 200.070). Involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone’s careless behavior leads to avoidable death and is often referred to as “negligent homicide.” For involuntary manslaughter to be valid, one of the following must be true:

  • Accidental or
  • Negligent homicide.

A vivid illustration of this is an instance when a person carries an armed gun and it unintentionally discharges, resulting in the death of someone else. Both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter are classified as felonies; however, involuntary manslaughter entails a shorter maximum prison sentence than voluntary.

Can Manslaughter Charges Be Sealed From My Record?

Ten years after a conviction of NRS 200.050 is complete and all sentences, including probation, have been served, the record may be sealed. On the other hand, if charges are ultimately dismissed with no convictions in place, then one can quickly pursue sealing their criminal records; however, there will still be an anticipated waiting period of several weeks before completion.

Can I Get Deported For Manslaughter Charges?

Absolutely, breaking NRS 200.050 is a serious offense that carries moral connotations and can lead to deportation for non-citizens in the United States. It’s strongly suggested to hire a qualified Las Vegas manslaughter defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest; they may be able to get the charge dropped or reduced so it won’t have any immigration implications on their ability to stay in America.

Contact Our Las Vegas Manslaughter Defense Attorney Today

If you’re facing manslaughter charges in Nevada, the Spartacus Law Firm understands the fear that comes with it. We know the stress and time-consuming nature of being arrested for an especially serious offense such as homicide. That’s why our Las Vegas manslaughter defense attorney is dedicated to protecting your future by doing all in his power to ensure you obtain a favorable outcome and remain out of jail. Contact our office today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you build your defense.

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