The crime of Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways, either by:
1.Manslaughter by Act: Committing an act that was neither excusable, nor justified that resulted in the death of another person.
2.Manslaughter by Procurement: Persuading, inducing, or encouraging another person to commit an act that resulted in the death of another person.
3.Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence: Engaging in “Culpably Negligent” conduct that resulted in the death of another person.
Penalties for Manslaughter
The crime of Manslaughter is classified as a Second Degree Felony and is assigned a Level 7 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code.
If convicted of Manslaughter, a judge is required to impose a minimum prison sentence of 9¼ years in prison and can impose any additional combination of the following penalties:
•Up to 15 years in prison.
•Up to 15 years of probation.
•Up to $10,000 in fines.
Defenses to Manslaughter
In addition to the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case, specific defenses to the crime of Manslaughter are:
The killing of a human being is excusable, and therefore lawful, under any one of the following three circumstances:
•When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
•When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or
•When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.
The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if done while resisting an attempt by someone to kill you or to commit a felony against you.