Is It Murder If the Death Was Unintentional?

When you caught your boyfriend with your best friend in bed together, you lost your temper. You got so angry that you picked up a large item off your dresser and threw it at them. You couldn’t have predicted that the item would be heavy enough, or dangerous enough, to kill.

Unfortunately, it hit your friend in the head as she got out of the bed, and the blow was enough to knock her out. As she fell, she hit her head on the corner of your nightstand. By the time you realized what had happened, she was in serious condition. Though you called 911, she ended up dying from bleeding on the brain a few hours later.

It was surely not your intention to kill your friend, but you were angry in the moment. You’ve been charged with manslaughter, but you’re not sure if that’s fair.

Killing in the “heat of passion,” can be a kind of voluntary manslaughter. Generally, though, it refers to cases where a person is so angry in the heat of a moment that they kill another person on impulse.

In your case, you didn’t intend to kill your friend, so your attorney may fight to have the charges dropped to involuntary manslaughter or to have them dropped completely with a strong defense. Intention plays a significant role in these charges, so if the prosecution cannot prove that you intended to kill, then the likelihood of a conviction is minimized.

Every case is different, and the potential defenses will vary as well. Your attorney can talk to you more about the defenses that may work for you in your case.

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