If you’ve been charged with manslaughter or other homicide in Louisville, KY, you need responsive, experienced, and aggressive legal representation right away. You are facing serious jail time and fines.
That’s why you should call a Louisville manslaughter lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC for immediate assistance. Our top-rated trial lawyers are former prosecutors and police officers who can use their unique knowledge and experience of the criminal justice system to your advantage. With outstanding success recognized by Avvo, Super Lawyers, and National Trial Lawyers, we have a trusted reputation for standing up for the rights of the accused.
How Suhre & Associates, LLC Can Help With a Manslaughter Charge in Louisville
When your freedom and reputation are at stake, you deserve an aggressive and award-winning legal team fighting for you. Our Louisville criminal defense lawyers have over 100 years of combined criminal law experience to put behind your defense.
When you call on Suhre & Associates, LLC in Louisville, Kentucky, you can count on us to:
- Immediately protect your rights in communications with prosecutors and law enforcement
- Handle all issues regarding bail
- Conduct an independent investigation into the allegations against you
- Collect evidence to build your defense
- Negotiate with prosecutors for a plea deal that is favorable to you
- Fight aggressively for you in court, if going to trial is your best option
- Provide you with straightforward and solid legal advice throughout your case
Each case is unique. We will work with you to get your story and ensure you understand all options, and we’ll advise you accordingly to help you make the best choice for your defense. Call our law office today for a free consultation.
What Is Manslaughter in Kentucky?
Manslaughter is a charge of criminal homicide in Kentucky.
Criminal homicide can include:
- Manslaughter in the first degree
- Manslaughter in the second degree
- Reckless homicide
All of these involve causing the death of another person. The specific offense you’ll be charged with depends on the circumstances of the alleged crime. The particular facts of your case, along with skilled legal counsel, can make a difference in whether you’re charged with murder or a lesser charge.
What’s the Difference Between Manslaughter and Murder?
The major difference between manslaughter and murder is intent. Manslaughter typically involves an accident or a heated situation that got out of control. Murder involves the intent to cause someone’s death.
While manslaughter is a serious charge, if you’re initially charged with murder, negotiating your charge down to manslaughter can significantly reduce your potential penalties. Murder is a capital offense in Kentucky, which means you could face the death penalty if convicted.
What Is Manslaughter in the First Degree?
Under Kentucky law, manslaughter in the first degree is:
- With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, causing the death of that person or a third person;
- With intent to cause the death of another person, causing the death of such person or a third person under circumstances which do not constitute murder because of extreme emotional disturbance; or
- Intentionally abusing another person or knowingly permitting another person under your custody to be abused, causing death to a person 12 years of age or younger, or who is physically or mentally helpless.
The key in any criminal case is intent. The prosecution must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s important to note that you can be convicted of manslaughter in the first degree even without intent to cause death.
What Is Manslaughter in the Second Degree?
In Kentucky, manslaughter in the second degree is:
- Wantonly causing the death of another person, including circumstances involving:
- Operation of a motor vehicle
- Leaving a child under the age of eight in a motor vehicle in dangerous circumstances that lead to the child’s death
- Distributing a Schedule I or II controlled substance that causes someone’s death
“Wanton” is a term frequently used in criminal or negligence statutes to describe extreme disregard for human life or danger caused by certain actions.
Manslaughter in the second degree is frequently charged in automobile crashes involving DUI, but could apply to other fatal car accidents. The circumstances that can lead to manslaughter in the second degree vary widely. It’s important to have the right Louisville manslaughter attorney on your side to build your best defense.
What Are the Penalties for Manslaughter in Kentucky?
While penalties vary depending on the specific charges and circumstances, there is no such thing as a mild punishment for a manslaughter conviction.
Penalties for Manslaughter in the First Degree
First-degree manslaughter is a Class B felony in Kentucky. If you’re convicted, you’ll serve 10 to 20 years in prison. You’ll be considered a violent offender under Kentucky law, which means that you’ll have to serve 85% of your sentence before you’re eligible to be considered for parole.
Penalties for Manslaughter in the Second Degree
Second-degree manslaughter is a Class C felony in Kentucky. If you’re convicted, you’ll serve five to 10 years in prison.
A felony conviction can also subject you to a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 or double any gain you received from the offense. Since both degrees of manslaughter in Kentucky are felony offenses, you’ll be subject to a fine in addition to prison time.
Other Consequences of a Manslaughter Conviction in Kentucky
Almost every criminal conviction has collateral consequences. Manslaughter is a felony, so conviction could subject you to many other negative consequences in addition to imprisonment and fines.
If you’re convicted of manslaughter in Kentucky, you could also face:
- Losing your right to own a gun
- Losing your right to vote
- Losing custody or rights to see your children
- Trouble renting a home
- Losing your job and difficulting getting hired
You could be charged with other offenses in addition to manslaughter. Set yourself up for the best possible outcome by hiring a Louisville criminal defense attorney who is relentless in fighting for you.
How Can I Defend Myself Against a Manslaughter Charge?
You can be confident that we will look for every possible defense to your manslaughter charges.
Depending on the circumstances, possible defenses could include procedural violations or evidentiary issues, including:
- Police violated your constitutional rights, such as failing to read you your Miranda rights
- Evidence was collected through illegal search and seizure
- You acted in self-defense
- You were mentally ill or suffered from a mental disability
- You were misidentified
- You have an alibi, or there is other exculpatory evidence proving your innocence
Some defenses are based on finding evidence to prove your innocence, and others challenge the evidence that the prosecution thinks proves its case. If we can get evidence thrown out, it could mean getting your charges reduced or your case dismissed. Likewise, if we find evidence that you were somewhere else at the time of the incident, the prosecution’s job becomes a lot harder. That could lead to a favorable deal for you or even a dismissal of charges.
What Should I Do if I’m Charged with Manslaughter?
As with any crime, if you are charged with manslaughter in Kentucky:
- Do not speak to the police. You don’t have to answer their questions. Don’t resist arrest or otherwise escalate the situation if they are trying to question you, but you don’t have to help them do their job.
- Call a reputable lawyer as soon as possible. Invoke your right to remain silent and don’t say anything until you speak with your attorney.
- Do not talk to anyone except your lawyer about your case. You’ll be anxious and nervous and may want to explain yourself to your friends and family. Resist the urge. That means don’t discuss your charges, don’t discuss your potential defenses, and don’t discuss anything about any evidence. It could seriously harm your case.
- Stay off social media. It’s a no-brainer not to post anything, but you also don’t want to read anything that will upset you. That could lead to you wanting to explain yourself or set the record straight. Leave that to your attorney.
We understand how scary this time is for you and your family. No matter what you are accused of, we stand behind you 100%. You can count on us to listen to your story and jump into action to build your strongest defense without hesitation. You can trust us for sound legal advice from day one.
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Louisville Manslaughter Lawyer
If you have been charged with manslaughter in Louisville, KY, don’t wait any longer to fight for your freedom. Our criminal defense team is ready to start building a strong defense for you today.
Call Suhre & Associates, LLC today for a free consultation with a respected Louisville manslaughter lawyer with decades of experience handling high-stakes cases.