A person convicted of First Degree Manslaughter in Minneapolis faces up to 15 years in prison. Several different circumstances can lead to a charge of First Degree Manslaughter.
Probably the most common set of circumstances that will result in a First Degree Manslaughter charge is what’s known as the “heat of passion” killing. This occurs when one person causes the death of another when their actions were provoked by words or acts of another that caused the actor to essentially lose control.
A familiar example of this situation: a person comes home to find his/her spouse in bed with another and irrationally attacks the spouse or the spouse’s lover and the attack results in death.
In this situation, it is unlikely that there was any sort of premeditation or planning by the attacking thought; rather, the act of catching a spouse in bed with a stranger caused a momentary loss of self-control that ended in death.
Other Situations That Can Result in a Charge of First Degree Manslaughter
- committing misdemeanor assault with exceptional force and violence that resulted in the death of another;
- intentionally causing the death of another while acting under the duress of threats made by another to the actor that reasonably caused the actor to fear imminent bodily harm or death of another;
- selling a controlled substance, the use of which causes death; or,
- causing the death of a child while engaged in the malicious punishment of that child.
The Biggest Difference Between a Charge of Murder Versus Manslaughter Lies With the Intent of the Actor
Intent can be tricky to determine. The initial determination is made by the prosecuting agency as it tries to fairly determine an actor’s intent from the circumstances of the incident. A charge of First Degree Manslaughter will usually result if the conclusion reached is that the actor acted with intent to harm but not to kill.
As With Other Bodily Injury Crimes, Self-Defence May Apply to Some Circumstances of a Charge
The facts and circumstances of each individual particular case will determine whether a defense of self-defense exists.
A charge of Minnesota First Degree Manslaughter requires an experienced Minnesota criminal defense lawyer. Our St. Paul criminal defense attorneys will help prepare a strong and thorough defense to a Minnesota First Degree Manslaughter charge.