Updated on Monday 24th May 2021
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Manslaughter is defined as homicide in English criminal law. It is a less severe offence than murder in England. A manslaughter conviction sentence depends on the judge, while a sentence for murder has to be life imprisonment. Manslaughter can be voluntary or involuntary, depending on the accused’s level of mens rea (Latin expression which means “guilty mind”). Our manslaughter lawyers can offer the needed legal assistance in the court of law if you have been accused of manslaughter.
Voluntary manslaughter in England
Voluntary manslaughter implies the intention to kill or to produce severe harm to a person. This conviction can only be issued if the accused pleads one of the two partial defences for murder: loss of self-control or abnormality of mental functioning. Our manslaughter lawyers in London can offer more details on what these defences consist of.
Here is a video about the defence for manslaughter in UK and the legal ways in which our criminal solicitor in London can help:
Involuntary manslaughter in England
Involuntary manslaughter defence implies that the murder was committed without mens rea, meaning that the accused is responsible for it, however, he or she did not have a motive to do so. There are four types of involuntary manslaughter:
- Manslaughter by gross negligence: According to the English legislation, if an individual has the responsibility of care and proves to be negligent to an extent where he or she is found guilty of a crime that results in the victim’s death, he or she can be found guilty for gross negligence manslaughter;
- Motor manslaughter: these are offences which result in death “by dangerous driving”;
- Manslaughter by the unlawful act: a person can be found guilty of this offence if he or she has the intention to commit an illegal act which can harm another person, and which results in an unintended death of that person;
- Unlawful act manslaughter and the responsibility of drug suppliers: these are offences committed by drug suppliers which result in the death of the person they are supplying the drugs to.
The meaning of involuntary manslaughter in UK
The cases where involuntary manslaughter is considered refers to offenders who caused the death of someone due to gross negligence or if he/she committed unlawful acts. The involuntary manslaughter caused by gross negligence is described as a lack of due care which caused death to someone, and if the jury settled the level of negligence, the offender will receive a conviction for manslaughter and imprisonment in accordance with the gravity of the facts. The House of Lords vs. Adomako is a case of involuntary manslaughter in UK which took place in 1994 and it is considered a starting point for dealing with such cases, where tests involving a breach of duty are imposed. If the breach of duty is characterized as a gross negligence which led to a crime, the offender can be accused of involuntary manslaughter. We remind you that our manslaughter lawyers in London can provide you with legal representation in the court of law if you are an individual accused of involuntary manslaughter in UK.
Tests to determine the involuntary manslaughter in UK
The risk that someone can be harmed by a sober and reasonable individual needs to be determined, in order to see if involuntary manslaughter is involved. It must be an unlawful offence where a rational individual would recognize that his/her acts were sufficient to risk a person’s life or to cause him/her physical harm. Gross negligence which caused death to someone in an involuntary manner may involve persons who by mistake, for example, killed someone with a gun, even though this was not the intention. Such situations can start as jokes or something appropriate to a game, but there are numerous cases where a person gets hurt or killed without the offender’s intention.
Our manslaughter lawyers in London will suitably analyze the case, the grounds, and the accusations, in order to prove the innocence of a person who by gross negligence wounded someone, without having such intention.
How many years do you get for manslaughter in UK?
Classified as murder without premeditation, manslaughter is the type of crime for which a person found guilty can serve 10 years of imprisonment. This is a common verdict compared to the maximum life sentence which is rarely issued. This kind of verdict is normally at the discretion of the judge who needs to properly analyze the case and circumstances, plus the prescribed guidelines. Here are a few types of sentences for manslaughter, whether involuntary or voluntary, depending on the severity:
- Imprisonment ranging between 2 and 10 years for manslaughter.
- Suspended sentence for up to 2 years, if the court considers so.
- Community service is also imposed under certain conditions.
Our manslaughter lawyer in London can provide more details about the sentence for manslaughter in UK.
Criteria for manslaughter sentence
Being a threat to society, the level of culpability, if there were aggravating circumstances, if the offender can be rehabilitated, plus the criminal record are a few of the criteria attentively analyzed by the jury and the judge. The guilty plea also plays a major role in determining the sentence of an offender accused of manslaughter. In this case, the judge can reduce the sentence if the offender pleads guilty.
It is important to note that life imprisonment can be issued in a court of law. However, the judge will need to set a minimum amount of imprisonment before an offender can apply for parole. All these aspects can be discussed with our manslaughter lawyer in London.
Manslaughter after a car accident
Causing the death of another person can be related to different car accidents like speeding, drug driving, drunk driving, gross negligence, and reckless driving, to give some examples. These cases are often dealt with in UK, and complete legal representation is required. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should get in touch with our specialists and see how they can help you from a legal point of view.
Diminished responsibility in a manslaughter case
Diminished responsibility enters the discussion in a manslaughter situation if the offender presents inappropriate mental health. In other words, if a person accused of manslaughter suffers from mental illness or he/she is handicapped, diminished responsibility can enter the discussion. However, this means that the offender must plead guilty. This is a serious manslaughter case for which one must be represented from a legal point of view right away. Our manslaughter lawyer in London is at your disposal.
Understanding the difference between manslaughter and murder
Both manslaughter and murder cases are complex, even if the death of a person is involved. But it is important to note the main differences between these two offences:
- Loss of control is often linked to murder.
- Diminished responsibility enters the discussion in a manslaughter case.
- Gross negligence or recklessness relates to manslaughter.
- The intention of killing someone leads to murder.
How you can be helped by a manslaughter lawyer
A manslaughter lawyer has an extensive experience in cases like these and can provide immediate legal assistance to those accused of such crimes. There are many complex aspects to analyze, so a manslaughter lawyer in London will have to communicate with the offender to understand the case from the beginning. Representation in front of magistrates in the court of law is provided, alongside a correct defence strategy, considering the circumstances. Our specialists act in the best interest of their clients, explaining the rights, the defence approach, and different tactics to reduce the sentence, if possible.
Crime statistics for UK
According to the Office for National Statistics and the figures for March 2019 - March 2020, the homicide rate increased by 1% compared to the previous year. Here are other interesting facts and figures on this topic:
- Around 142 homicide victims with ages between 16 and 24 were registered during the period mentioned above.
- Nearly 275 crimes involved sharp instruments.
- An increase of 20% has been registered in the number of male victims in UK.
- Besides sex, ethnicity, and age, other factors relate to homicide in UK. The socio-economic indicators have been highlighted by specialists in the field.
Our team of criminal defence solicitors in London is specialized in defences for all types of manslaughter in England. If you are faced with such an allegation, please do not hesitate to contact us for legal guidance and advice.