Manslaughter Defense Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona
Manslaughter crimes are serious offenses that carry heavy penalties. A criminal conviction may cost you your personal and professional life. If you have been charged with such a crime in Arizona, you must seek legal help from a skilled Phoenix criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
At Snader Law Group, we are dedicated to providing legal assistance to our clients who are accused of committing serious crimes in Phoenix. We have the expertise in criminal law, the ability to give you sound legal advice, and the experience to successfully pursue the best possible legal outcome for your case. We will protect your rights and develop persuasive arguments to help reduce or dismiss your criminal charges.
Call our criminal defense law firm now and schedule an initial case evaluation.
Why Do I Need a Manslaughter Defense Attorney in Arizona?
If you have been arrested for manslaughter in Arizona, you can take your chances with a public defender or cheap Phoenix criminal attorney. You may enjoy spending a few years on an all-expenses-paid vacation behind bars. But, if you want a room with a better view than concrete walls, you may want to hire a certified criminal law specialist. Where do you find the best Phoenix criminal defense attorney? Look for one that:
- has 30 years of experience as a Phoenix criminal lawyer
- and is a former prosecutor so he knows how it works on the inside
- has a perfect “10” rating on avvo.com
- Is highly recommended by former clients and other Phoenix manslaughter lawyers
You can find an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Howard A. Snader. Our law firm represents clients in Phoenix charged with aggravated assault, sex crimes, domestic violence, drug crimes, and more.
Call us today to schedule your free legal defense strategy consultation.
Manslaughter vs Negligent Homicide in Arizona
The State of Arizona does not classify the criminal offense of manslaughter as voluntary or involuntary. It is either “manslaughter” or “negligent homicide.” In Arizona, there are four classifications of homicide: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, negligent homicide, and manslaughter. If you are facing a criminal charge for manslaughter or any other crime that resulted in the death of another person, you must have strong legal representation from a Phoenix criminal defense attorney.
Manslaughter is committed without malice or premeditation. Generally, it is committed unintentionally or out of an immediate reaction to an emotion such as fear, danger, or anger. According to Arizona criminal law, manslaughter involves the acts of recklessly causing the death of another person, intentionally killing someone in the heat of the moment or during a quarrel, or aiding another in committing suicide.
On the other hand, negligent homicide is a lower offense than manslaughter or murder. If you inadvertently cause the death of another person due to criminal carelessness, you may be prosecuted with negligent homicide.
What are the Circumstances that Define Manslaughter in Arizona?
In Arizona, manslaughter involves a wide range of offenses with many possible scenarios potentially giving rise to this criminal charge. A knowledgeable Phoenix manslaughter defense lawyer can give you an overview of the different types of manslaughter cases. There are five situations of homicide that may be classified as manslaughter.
Manslaughter by Force
This type of criminal offense happens when you commit a second-degree murder under coercion. It is described as killing another person while being forced to do so through the “threat or use of unlawful deadly physical force” of another person. The prosecution has to prove that your reckless actions caused the death of another person and you were forced into the reckless actions by the use or threatened immediate use of unlawful deadly force against you or another person.
Manslaughter by Sudden Quarrel or Heat of Passion
This criminal case occurs when a person commits second-degree murder as a crime of passion. This means that the crime was not premeditated, but is instead the result of a “sudden quarrel or heat of passion or as a result of an adequate provocation.” Adequate provocation means that there is something that would have caused a reasonable person to lose self-control.
This type of manslaughter means that the death of another person was caused by recklessness. In this circumstance, the prosecution needs to prove that you caused the death of another person and that you had shown a conscious disregard for a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death.
This refers to the act of deliberately assisting another person to commit suicide. Assisted suicide, even if performed by medical professionals, is illegal and considered manslaughter in Arizona. You can be charged with this crime if you intentionally provided the physical means that another person used to commit suicide and you did so with the knowledge that the person intended to commit suicide.
This type of offense refers to the act of causing the death of a fetus by intentionally or unintentionally injuring the mother, except for the following:
- Those who performed authorized abortions
- Those who provided medical services to the mother or child
- The mother of the unborn child
In these situations, the law prevents the charge of homicide if the mother has either consented to medical services or has herself performed the act.
What are the Penalties for Manslaughter in Arizona?
Manslaughter is a class 2 felony in Arizona. Many factors affect the sentencing of a manslaughter conviction, including prior felonies, and whether or not the manslaughter charge is considered a dangerous offense, possible sentencing ranges are as follows:
- Mitigated sentence: 3 years
- Minimum sentence: 4 years
- Presumptive sentence: 5 years
- Maximum sentence: 10 years
- Aggravated sentence: 12.5 years
For offenders who have prior felonies, or if it is ruled that the manslaughter was a dangerous offense, which occurs if a deadly weapon was used during the incident, then the sentencing can go well beyond 12.5 years in prison. A sentence can also include probation, jail time, and/or fines and surcharges.
In addition to jail time and fines, felonies in Arizona can have dire consequences like ineligibility to pursue certain education, professional opportunities, government assistance, and loss of certain civil rights. If you are facing a manslaughter charge, consult a credible Phoenix manslaughter defense attorney to help you dismiss or reduce the criminal charges against you by developing the best legal defense for your case.
What are the Possible Defenses against Manslaughter in Arizona?
People accused of manslaughter have the right to challenge the accusation with a legal defense. When facing a manslaughter charge, you need the best possible strategy and defense for your case. Consulting a competent Phoenix super lawyer who can provide you with the best criminal defense representation will be the most important decision you’ll make, as the outcome can impact the rest of your life. Depending on the circumstances of your case, several defenses may be available to prevent a conviction for manslaughter or result in a reduced charge.
Self-Defense or Defense of Another Person
As a defendant, you can assert that you have committed manslaughter because you were acting in self-defense. The defense is appropriate so long as you reasonably believe that a person was in imminent danger of physical harm and a deadly force was necessary to stop the danger.
No Reckless Act
Another defense is to show that your behavior did not rise to the level of recklessness. The term “recklessness” carries a specific legal definition. You can be charged with manslaughter when prosecutors allege that you have killed someone because of a reckless act. This means that you can prove that you did not act recklessly.
No Criminal State of Mind
A conviction for manslaughter requires that the accused intended to commit the act that resulted in the killing. If the act was unintentional, then charges will have to be reduced or dropped. In most cases, people are only guilty of manslaughter if they act with some type of criminal state of mind like recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally. Therefore, the accused can show that he or she did not act in one of these ways.
Call Our Experienced Phoenix Manslaughter Defense Attorney Now!
Manslaughter is one of the most serious crimes you can be accused of under Arizona law. The consequences of a conviction can ruin your life and your reputation. The uncertainty of your future can make your situation even more stressful and complicated.
If you are facing charges of manslaughter in Arizona, it is strongly advised that you get in touch with our competent Phoenix criminal defense lawyer who can evaluate your case and prepare all possible defenses. Our criminal defense law firm will aggressively challenge the case of the prosecution and negotiate to have your charges dismissed or reduced. Using a variety of strategies and defenses, we have been able to secure acquittals and not guilty judgments.
At Howard Snader Law, we will work with you to reduce your charges and keep you out of jail. Talk to our experienced Phoenix criminal defense attorneys now.