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Phoenix Manslaughter Attorney

Phoenix Manslaughter AttorneyHave you been charged with manslaughter in Phoenix, AZ? Homicide is one of the most serious violent criminal charges and can result in lengthy prison sentences. It’s crucial to seek experienced legal representation to protect your constitutional rights and fight for your freedom.

Orent Law Offices has defended Phoenix residents against criminal offenses for over 33 years. Contact our law firm for your free consultation with a dedicated Phoenix manslaughter attorney to begin work on your defense.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help When You’re Arrested for Manslaughter in Phoenix

Do not underestimate the severity of a manslaughter charge. Even when the prosecutor seems sympathetic, you will face harsh prosecution and decades in prison. You deserve an experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyer committed to giving you the best legal defense possible.

Our criminal defense lawyers in Phoenix, AZ have represented clients charged with serious and dangerous felonies for over three decades. Founding Craig Orent is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer. So, prosecutors know you mean business when you hire our legal team.

When you choose Orent Law Offices to represent you, we will:

  • Offer insightful legal advice, support, and guidance at every stage of your case
  • Create a multi-faceted defense built on expert witnesses, evidentiary challenges, exculpatory evidence, and cross-examination
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor to seek a satisfactory plea deal or fight for reduced or dismissed charges
  • Present a persuasive defense to a jury if your case proceeds to trial

When you are facing homicide or violent crime charges, don’t rely on an overworked Phoenix public defender or a personal injury lawyer. Contact Orent Law Offices in Phoenix, Arizona, today for a free consultation to discuss how we will fight for you.

Overview of Manslaughter in Arizona

A homicide can be classified as either manslaughter or murder, depending on the defendant’s intent. In all cases, homicide concerns the death of another person. Under ARS 13-1103, manslaughter is a Class 2 felony.

There are five ways to trigger a manslaughter charge under Arizona law:

  • Knowingly or intentionally killing someone in the heat of passion or during a sudden fight
  • Intentionally helping someone commit suicide,
  • Recklessly causing someone else’s death
  • Knowingly or intentionally killing someone while being coerced
  • Recklessly or knowingly causing the death of an unborn child due to physical injury to the mother.

There are many scenarios that can constitute manslaughter. For instance, a death that results from an accident due to reckless drunk driving can be manslaughter. A homicide that occurs in the heat of passion can also be classified as manslaughter, such as after discovering a spouse’s infidelity.

Many manslaughter charges result from recklessness, not intentional homicide. When someone else’s death occurs due to a simple accident or mistake, it is not enough to justify a manslaughter charge. Instead, the responsible party’s actions must be considered “reckless.”

Someone behaves recklessly when they were aware of a substantial, unjustified risk and consciously disregarded it. When reckless driving causes someone else’s death, it is often called “vehicular manslaughter.”

Manslaughter vs. Negligent Homicide

In many states, there are two types of manslaughter:

  • Involuntary manslaughter, which is an unintentional homicide due to recklessness or criminal negligence
  • Voluntary manslaughter, which is a killing in the heat of passion or in response to adequate provocation.

Arizona only has one manslaughter classification. However, a similar charge is negligent homicide under ARS 13-1102.

Manslaughter in Arizona usually refers to heat of passion killings and reckless homicides. By comparison, negligent homicide is charged for a homicide caused by a criminally negligent act. It is a lesser offense.

Negligent homicide is based on “criminal negligence” which is less severe than recklessness. It happens when someone does not recognize the substantial, unjustifiable risk that their actions will cause someone’s death. Negligent homicide can happen when someone recklessly or negligently handles a gun and unintentionally kills someone. A child killed after they are left in a hot car is another example.

What is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter?

Murder is different than manslaughter and negligent homicide. There are two degrees of murder in Arizona.

First-degree murder refers to premeditated homicide. Someone can be convicted of first degree murder if they planned a homicide in advance. Second-degree murder refers to homicide without premeditation. It can refer to intentional homicide, conduct the person knew would cause serious injury or death, or circumstances that show an extreme indifference to human life.

Second-degree murder and manslaughter are similar. However, manslaughter is charged for intentional homicide in the heat of passion. Second-degree murder is charged if there was no heat of passion or influence.

What Are the Penalties for Manslaughter in Phoenix, Arizona?

Manslaughter is a serious and dangerous felony under Arizona law and punishable by years in prison. You may face seven to 21 years in prison if convicted. The presumptive sentence is 10.5 years.

You can face enhanced sentencing if you have prior dangerous felony convictions. With one prior conviction, you face 14 to 28 years, with a presumptive term of 15.75 years. With two or more prior convictions, the penalty is enhanced to 21 to 35 years in prison, with a presumptive term of 28 years.

While the penalties for manslaughter are stiff, they are not as severe as the punishment for a murder conviction. Murder can carry a penalty of life in prison or even the death penalty.

What Defenses Are Available if I’m Accused of Manslaughter in Phoenix, AZ?

When you are facing a felony criminal charge, you may feel hopeless. However, there are many possible legal defenses. Your Phoenix manslaughter lawyer will investigate your case and develop defense strategies.

Potential defense options include:

  • Supervening cause. This means that something else besides the defendant’s actions caused the death. For instance, the defendant may admit to causing the victim injury but argue medical negligence instead caused their death.
  • Behavior was not reckless. If the defendant is accused of causing someone’s death through negligence, an attorney may argue that their actions were not reckless.
  • Self-defense. A valid defense to homicide is self-defense. This defense strategy may be appropriate if you believed you or someone else was in imminent danger of harm and needed to use deadly force.
  • No criminal state of mind. Manslaughter generally requires a specific state of mind to cause someone’s death intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly. If you did not have the right state of mind, a manslaughter charge does not fit the offense.

Orent Law Offices will also investigate the actions of law enforcement. Evidence obtained through police misconduct can be suppressed. Sloppy police tactics, flawed photo line-ups, and inaccurate reconstruction of the scene may all be used to strengthen your defense.

Our Phoenix homicide lawyers may also challenge expert testimony and forensic evidence including gunshot residue testing, fingerprint analysis, and crime scene reconstruction.

Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Phoenix Manslaughter Attorney

When you are facing a manslaughter charge, it’s crucial to begin work on your defense as soon as possible. Experienced legal counsel may be the only way to avoid serious prison time. Contact our law office today to schedule a free case review with a Phoenix manslaughter attorney ready to fight for your rights and freedom.

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