What is Manslaughter?


Manslaughter, under New York State Law, is defined as the intentional killing of another person, but without malice or premeditation. This is what distinguishes it from murder, where there must be premeditation. While less serious, manslaughter charges still carry serious consequences including life imprisonment.

Types of Manslaughter

Manslaughter can either be voluntary or involuntary. Voluntary manslaughter occurs where the actions were intended to cause death, but without premeditation or malicious intent. If you have been arrested for or are under investigation for voluntary manslaughter, you’re looking at the possibility of life imprisonment if you are convicted.

Contact The Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq., a qualified NY criminal defense attorney with vast experience and a proven track record in criminal homicide defense. Manslaughter is essentially a criminal homicide charge, and prosecution and defense on this charge are equivalent to fighting for your life. You must take decisive action and trust only the best to represent you.

Involuntary manslaughter, or second-degree manslaughter, according to NY law, has no element of intent whatsoever. Voluntary manslaughter usually has the intent to cause harm, but not death.

Charged with Manslaughter

Manslaughter Charges

The following is a summary of the laws under which manslaughter charges can be brought against a person.


  • NY Code 125.15Involuntary manslaughter charges, a Class C felony, will be brought against a defendant who didn’t intend to harm/kill the victim, but who acts in a reckless and dangerous manner, thereby resulting in the death of the victim. A person who causes a woman to die following unjustifiable abortion may also be charged hereunder, as would a person who abetted another in committing suicide.
  • NY Code 125.20 Voluntary manslaughter charges, a Class B felony, are brought against a defendant who didn’t intend to kill, but had intended to cause physical injury in an incident described as the “heat of passion.” For example, a spouse may return home to find their spouse being unfaithful and in the ensuing rage kill one or both of them.
  • NY Code 125.21 Second degree aggravated manslaughter, a Class C felony, carries stiffer penalties than second degree manslaughter because the victim is a police officer acting in the cause of duty, and the defendant was aware of this.
  • NY Code 125.22 First degree aggravated manslaughter, a Class B felony, carries stiffer penalties than first degree manslaughter because the victim is a police officer acting in the cause of duty, and the defendant was aware of this.
What is Manslaughter

Manslaughter Trial

The process following the death of a person in a criminal homicide case is not very different from any other criminal proceeding. Prior investigations by law enforcement will lead them to possible suspects, who will then be arrested and booked. Within 24 – 48 hours, the suspect will be arraigned to enter their plea, and bail may or may not be posted.

Typically, bail is not posted for this class of offenses. However, if the defendant is not a flight risk and has no prior criminal record, the court may decide to set bail. There will then be preliminary hearings to determine if there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial, followed by various pre-trial motions.

In the case of jury trials, a jury is selected after which the trial can begin, and sentencing follows if the defendant is found guilty. Contact the Law Office of Stephan Jacob Siegel, Esq. if you need a manslaughter defense attorney. It is essential that you find the right representation at the earliest possible to have the best chance of an outcome in your favor.

Manslaughter Trial