AV Preeminent
The Florida Bar


The Complexity of Manslaughter and Circumstantial Considerations

Florida Statutes 782.07 refers to the general legal classification of manslaughter however the criminal act of manslaughter is very complex. The law is intricate due to the vast range of circumstances present in manslaughter charges. For instance the relationship between the victim and the accused can vastly range in from a large pool of circumstantial considerations. Another consideration is the age and relationship between the victim and the accused.

Therefore what is considered manslaughter under the state laws of Florida is constructed on a vast variety of circumstances and penalties. This sanctions for a variety of different statues determined by the circumstances of the crime committed.

Do you need to speak with a Manslaughter Defense Lawyer in Broward County? Contact our Criminal Defense Hotline at (954) 523-5333. Our Defense Attorneys will answer any questions you may have in regards to the Florida State Criminal Laws on Manslaughter.

Understanding Manslaughter and Its Complexity

The attorneys at William Moore Criminal Defense  believe knowledge is power therefore its is essential that individuals facing manslaughter chargers in Florida have a complete understanding for the complexity the statue of manslaughter involves.
Its essential for individuals involved in manslaughter crimes to have a full comprehension of Florida Law’s definition of manslaughter and the vast variety of circumstantial types it possesses.

Having a knowledgeable understanding on the diverse definitions for manslaughter charges gives the convicted party the capability to fully assess their own cases. That individual will have an easier time understanding the possible penalties and criminal charges that one will face if prosecuted. This in return allows the convicted party the ability to make more of an educated decision on how too proceed with the criminal charges; as well as the opportunity to work more proficiently with the hired Criminal Defense Attorney.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary Manslaughter under Florida Laws happens when an individual kills another. A primary example of this crime would be a individual immediately killing another person in the heat of passion, exclusive of a premeditated plan on killing.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Florida law also refers to involuntary manslaughter as criminal negligent homicide. This type of case transpires when a death occurs as a result of reckless or negligence.

Manslaughter by Act (Voluntary Manslaughter)
A Florida Law court such as Broward County, defines manslaughter by act as the crime was intentionally committed. This intentional crime resulting in the death of another person is neither justifiable, nor forgivable under the Florida legal Court system.

Manslaughter by Procurement (Voluntary Manslaughter)

Under the Florida legal Court system manslaughter by procurement is legally defined as a criminal crime that was intentionally committed. Deliberately persuading, inducing or encouraging another person to commit an act resulting in his or her own death is viewed under Florida Laws as voluntary manslaughter.

Call our Broward County Criminal Lawyers for information about your arrest for manslaughter 

Manslaughter by Culpable Negligence (Involuntary Voluntary Manslaughter)

“Culpably Negligent” is also defined as aggravated manslaughter. The Florida law considers as behavior that resulted in the death of another person. This particular statue depends on certain circumstances. Primarily this law includes the negligence causing the death of the elderly or death of a individual under the age of 18. The Florida statue also includes negligence causing the death of fire or recuses employees.

Vehicular Manslaughter

Vehicular Manslaughter occurs when a person drives a vehicle and unintentionally but unlawfully kills another human being. This occurs when the owner knows that there is a defect in the vehicle but still drives and someone is killed as a result of the defect in the vehicle.

Self Defense

The State of Florida an individual has the right to protect themselves from attacks. An individual may be justified to use force of a deadly weapon Florida statue chapter 776 refers to Justifiable use of force especially in circumstances when the individual believes his or her life is being threaten.

782.02 Justifiable use of deadly force.

—The use of deadly force is justifiable when a person is resisting any attempt to murder such person or to commit any felony upon him or her or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person shall be.

Penalties For Manslaughter Under Florida Criminal Law

Under Florida Law the criminal charges for manslaughter is classified as a Second Degree Felony. Individuals convicted will face a mandatory prison sentence of 9¼ other penalties such as 15years in prison, 15 years of probation and up to $10,000 in legal fines may be added depending on the circumstances of the crime.

Penalties For Aggravated Manslaughter

Florida Law prosecutes aggravated manslaughter as a first-degree felony punishable by life imprisonment.

Florida Criminal Defenses for Manslaughter Pretrial Criminal Defense

Pretrial defenses are used to challenge the legality of how the evidence against the defendant was obtained as well as the sufficiency of the evidence used to charged the individual. For the most part pretrial defenses are elevated through motion’s to suppress and motion’s to dismiss.

Trial Criminal Defense The most common reason defendants opt to go to trial is the concept of “ beyond reasonable doubt” meaning the case cannot be proven with solid evidence. As the name implies, trial defenses are raised during the actual trial and either: Raise an Affirmative Defense; or Challenge the Sufficiency of the Evidence

Affirmative Defenses

Under certain circumstances, Florida law allows a person to raise an Affirmative Defense, which does not deny that an offense occurred, but that the conduct was legally justified.

The most common Affirmative Defenses are:

  • Advice of Counsel
  • Alibi
  • Duress
  • Entrapment
  • Insanity
  • Necessity
  • Self Defense

Importantly, when an Affirmative Defense is raised, the defendant must present some evidence to support the defense. If such evidence is presented, the burden shift back to the State to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense is not applicable.

Insufficient Evidence

By far, the most common trial defense is that a case cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt. And not only must the prosecutor prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, each element of the crime charged must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. So if a pretrial defense was granted, the State may have a difficult time proving an element of a crime at trial. 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:

Excusable Homicide

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.
Justifiable Homicide

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.

Self Defense

Also known as the justified use of deadly force, self defense is a defense to the crime of Second Degree Murder. Please view the Florida Self Defense section for more information.

If you or someone you know has questions when it comes to the Florida Manslaughter Laws, contact our Criminal Defense Attorneys for a free consultation. (954) 523-5333

Client Reviews
William Moore saves the day once again... I can’t thank him enough for helping me get my life back on track...You’ll be glad he’s on your defense team, I guarantee it. Eric Bailey
William is an amazing lawyer on the first day he took my case from a felony to a misdemeanor. He always answered my calls and text messages, never a problem. He was always the one in court not sending someone else, unlike my last lawyer. 10/10 would recommend. If I ever have any other problems, he will be the first person I call. Shane B.