Manslaughter is a very serious crime involving the killing of another person. In most jurisdictions, only full-on murder tops it in levels of seriousness. For that reason, you need to take any manslaughter charges leveled against you very seriously. A conviction will absolutely have negative consequences on your life. You will very likely have to pay fines and go to prison for a long time. Additionally, it will be harder for you to get a job, buy or rent a house, and get loans once you get out of prison, and friends and family may not want to be around you and treat you differently.
When so much is at stake, you cannot mess around. Our lawyers are totally dedicated to criminal defense, and we are ready to put that dedication to work in helping you with your case. We will leave no stone unturned and never stop fighting for you when you are facing manslaughter charges in Utah.
Overson Law’s manslaughter defense lawyers can assist you with your case when you reach out to us at (801) 758-2287.
What Constitutes Manslaughter in Taylorsville, UT?
Under Utah law, manslaughter is defined in Utah Code § 76-5-205 as causing someone else’s death through reckless conduct. That definition, of course, begs the question of what recklessness means in Utah. Recklessness, per Utah Code § 76-2-103(3), means conduct where the actor should be aware that someone could get killed or hurt but “consciously disregards” that danger and does the act anyway. Moreover, that act must be what is called “gross deviation” from a reasonable person’s conduct and standard of care. For example, testing out homemade “bulletproof” vests with actual firearms would meet this definition. A reasonable person would be aware that someone may die doing that, and that activity is a gross deviation from something a reasonable person would do.
Other things besides reckless conduct can be considered manslaughter under Utah law. For example, assisting someone in taking their life is manslaughter in Utah. So, if someone expresses a desire to shoot themselves and you give them a loaded gun, it is manslaughter even though you did not pull the trigger yourself.
Also, conduct that rises to the level of murder can be manslaughter instead when mitigating circumstances are present. Those circumstances are outlined in Utah Code § 76-5-203(4). The idea is that if you have a reasonable but incorrect belief that you are justified in taking a life, a murder charge can be reduced to manslaughter. As an example, suppose someone sees what looks like a person running towards their car with a weapon. Scared, the person floors their vehicle into the runner, who later dies. It also turns out that the running person was unarmed. In that case, what would be a murder charge may be reduced to manslaughter because the person in the car thought their life was in danger.
Penalties for Manslaughter in Taylorsville, UT
Since manslaughter is a serious crime, the penalties for manslaughter are also quite serious. Manslaughter is a felony of the second degree under the Utah manslaughter statute. The penalties for second-degree felonies are serious and include prison sentences of at least one year and up to 15 years in prison per Utah Code 76-3-203(2). Second-degree felonies can also result in fines of up to $10,000 per Utah Code § 76-3-301(1)(a). Both of these penalties can dramatically change and disrupt your life.
Indeed, the statutorily defined penalties for manslaughter in Utah are serious. However, the statute does not mention things that can happen to you outside of the prescribed punishments if you are convicted of manslaughter. If you are convicted of manslaughter, you will have a felony on your record. Individuals with felonies on their criminal record will likely have difficulty finding employment, as many employers will either be wary of convicted felons or refuse to hire you outright. Additionally, some jobs are unavailable to felons. Also, felons are not allowed to own firearms in the United States. So, if owning a firearm is important to you, a manslaughter conviction will deny you that right.
Convicted felons also may have difficulty obtaining certain loans or living in certain areas. This can make it difficult to “get back on your feet” after serving a sentence for a felony conviction.
Finally, friends, family, and others may think of you differently if you have a manslaughter conviction on your record. They may not want to associate with you or cut you off entirely.
Ways Our Taylorsville, UT Manslaughter Defense Lawyers can Help You
Our lawyers can do so much more than just fight for you at trial. We can work with you on your case long before that point. From the moment you retain our services, we will work tirelessly to examine all of the evidence of your case and start to craft a strong argument for you to use in court.
There are also things we can do that go beyond simply preparing for a jury trial. During the lead up to a trial, we will negotiate with the prosecutor and advocate for you in court. For example, if there is evidence, we believe was obtained illegally that the prosecution wants to introduce into the case, we can try and get that evidence suppressed, or not allowed to be used in the case. We may even be able to get the prosecutor to drop or lower charges through a deal. Additionally, we will make sure that you are treated fairly and justly through the entire process, and see to it that every resource is exhausted in defending you against manslaughter charges.
Call Our Taylorsville, UT Manslaughter Defense Lawyers Right Away
Time is of the essence, so call (801) 758-2287 and speak to our manslaughter defense lawyers with Overson Law today.