Being arrested on manslaughter charges can be extremely challenging and frightening. As a homicide charge, manslaughter is one of the most severe crimes a person in Louisiana can face, and individuals convicted of manslaughter could spend the rest of their lives doing hard labor behind bars. Fortunately, if you face manslaughter charges in Louisiana, you have the right to fight for your future.
The penalties for homicide charges in Louisiana are severe and could have a lasting impact on your life. If you are under investigation for homicide in Louisiana, contact an experienced manslaughter defense attorney. Your attorney can help you understand the difference between murder and manslaughter so you can be fully informed of the charges against you. A skilled attorney can investigate and collect evidence for your case to develop the best possible defense strategy for your unique situation.
Manslaughter in Louisiana Defined
In Louisiana, two types of homicides could be ruled as manslaughter. The first is a homicide committed in a sudden act of passion or heat of blood immediately following provocation. In other words, the homicide cannot be premeditated. If the person who commits the homicide waits to act after their emotions have calmed, the crime would be classified as second-degree murder.
The second type of homicide that could be considered manslaughter is to kill someone unintentionally in the following circumstances:
- When the person who committed the homicide is engaged in committing a misdemeanor or a felony, that will not escalate the charge to murder
- When the person who committed the homicide is resisting arrest unarmed or in a way that is not inherently dangerous
If someone is killed during a robbery, kidnapping, rape, or another violent felony, the charge could be escalated to first or second-degree murder depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime.
While manslaughter is less severe than a murder conviction that could result in the death penalty, the penalties for a conviction could still permanently damage your life. If you are found guilty of manslaughter, you could face up to 40 years in prison with hard labor. If a child under ten was the victim of manslaughter, there is a minimum sentence of ten years in prison with hard labor, but the judge could sentence you to the full 40 years, depending on the details of the crime. Additionally, if the victim was a child under ten, there would be no possibility of probation or the suspension of your sentence.
Possible Defenses for Manslaughter in Louisiana
The most common defenses for manslaughter in Louisiana assert that the homicide was justifiable and therefore not a crime. Louisiana law dictates that a person could be justified in killing another in several circumstances, including:
- An act of self-defense against great bodily harm
- Preventing a person from committing a violent felony against you or others
- Preventing a person from unlawfully and forcibly entering a home, vehicle, or place of business
Your attorney will work with you to go over every detail of your case so that they can craft the best defense possible. Working with a skilled attorney could be the difference between your freedom and decades of imprisonment.
Contact an Expert Louisiana Manslaughter Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with homicide in Louisiana, you need a skilled defender on your side. Eric G. Johnson of the John D. and Eric G. Johnson Law Firm know the ins and outs of Louisiana law and is committed to using his expertise to achieve favorable outcomes for his clients. Attorney Johnson has nearly 30 years of experience advocating for the accused and providing his clients with a personalized approach to every case. When you partner with him, you partner with a legal expert that will fight tirelessly for your rights. To get started and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case, call us at (318) 377-1555 or contact us online today.