Manslaughter Defense Attorney Oklahoma City: First & Second Degree Charges


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An Oklahoma City manslaughter defense attorney specializes in helping individuals facing charges of first or second degree manslaughter in the State of Oklahoma. Manslaughter charges include first degree manslaughter (voluntary manslaughter), and second degree manslaughter (involuntary manslaughter). Manslaughter is a homicide that occurs without premeditated intent, but in the "heat of passion" or during the commission of a misdemeanor. A manslaughter defense attorney has a thorough understanding of Oklahoma's criminal laws, forensic evidence, and criminal court procedures. They use this knowledge to develop a legal defense strategy based on the charges faced by the defendant, the circumstances of their case, and the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Even though a charge of manslaughter still means that a human being has died, it is looked at from a different perspective by most prosecutors in Oklahoma. Part of that is due to the culpability factor. Another reason is due to the smaller punishment range available to the prosecution. A manslaughter defense attorney can help ensure you receive fair treatment before the law. Manslaughter is divided into first and second degree.

pic of a wrecked car from manslaughter case in OKC

Hiring a Manslaughter Defense Attorney in Oklahoma City

Hiring a criminal defense attorney is an essential step for those facing first or second degree manslaughter charges in the state of Oklahoma. An experienced manslaughter defense lawyer helps defend the rights of their client

An Oklahoma City mandefense lawyer provides legal representation to individuals facing charges of homicide in the State of Oklahoma. Homicide defense attorneys defend the rights of their clients, challenge evidence presented by the prosecution, and negotiate with the court to ensure the best possible outcome in their client's case. Homicide attorneys have a deep understanding of Oklahoma criminal law, forensic evidence, and criminal court procedures. A homicide defense attorney uses this knowledge to develop a comprehensive legal defense strategy based on the type of charges faced by the defendant, the circumstances of the case, and the evidence presented by the prosecution.

How Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Fight Manslaughter Charges?

Manslaughter defense lawyers employ several strategies to help their clients facing charges of manslaughter in Oklahoma. These defense strategies include demonstrating that the act was committed in the "heat of passion", challenging the prosecutions identification of the correct defendant, and demonstrating that the act was committed in self defense during a criminal attempt.

The defense strategies used to fight manslaughter charges in Oklahoma are listed below.

  • Heat of Passion Defense
  • Identity Challenge Defense
  • Self-Defense in a Criminal Attempt

The choice of defense strategy is determined by the defending attorney based on the circumstances and evidence in the case.

Using the Heat of Passion Defense

Challenging Identity Defense

Self Defense During an Attempted Crime

What is Manslaughter?

Is Manslaughter a Homicide?

Link to Homicide page.

Is Self Defense Manslaughter?

Link to self defense page

What is the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter?

What is First Degree Manslaughter in Oklahoma?

When most people think of manslaughter, they think of a “heat of passion” killing: a situation in which someone is so caught up in their emotions that they act out in a way that is not planned or premeditated. While that is one of the instances in which someone can be charged with manslaughter, it isn’t the only way. Such charges can result:

  • When perpetrated without a design to effect death by a person while engaged in the commission of a misdemeanor.
  • When perpetrated without a design to effect death, and in a heat of passion, but in a cruel and unusual manner, or using a dangerous weapon; unless it is committed under such circumstances as constitute excusable or justifiable homicide.
  • When perpetrated unnecessarily either while resisting an attempt by the person killed to commit a crime, or after such attempt shall have failed.

What is the Sentence for First Degree Manslaughter in Oklahoma?

Any person guilty of manslaughter in the first degree shall be guilty of a felony. They will also face punishment in the form of imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than four (4) years. There are no propitiations as to probation for those convicted of manslaughter.

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What is Second Degree Manslaughter in Oklahoma?

Use "involuntary manslaughter", "constitutes",

Can you go to jail for involuntary manslaughter?

Second degree manslaughter is defined as every killing of one human being by the act, procurement or culpable negligence of another, which, under the provisions of this chapter, is not murder, nor manslaughter in the first degree, nor excusable nor justifiable homicide, is manslaughter in the second degree.

Due to such a broad definition, prosecutors usually use Second Degree Manslaughter charges as a catch-all for criminal activity they cannot prosecute under any of the other statutes. It is not uncommon for a prosecutor to charge a death as manslaughter in the alternative when the prosecutor does not think he or she can prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

Because the definition is so broad, it is essential to retain an attorney to help decide whether you may have a defense, excuse, or justification under the law for the killing that occurred.

Is Involuntary Manslaughter a Felony?

What is the Sentence for Second Degree Manslaughter in Oklahoma?

Anyone who is either convicted at trial or pleads guilty to second degree manslaughter will become a convicted felon and face felony conviction consequences. Moreover, they will also face a potential prison sentence of two (2) to four (4) years in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary or up to one (1) year in the county jail.

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What is Vehicular Manslaughter?

Is vehicular manslaughter a felony?

The laws pertaining to vehicular manslaughter in Oklahoma are not contained in the same section as those related to first and second degree manslaughter.

Consequently, many lay people and practicing attorneys as well are easily confused by Oklahoma’s “vehicular manslaughter” laws. Vehicular manslaughter, as the name suggests, involves a death that results through the use of a vehicle. That is not to be confused with a situation in which the vehicle is used as a dangerous weapon with the intent to kill someone. That fact pattern would likely lead to murder charges.

No, vehicular manslaughter occurs in situations where a person, while driving their vehicle, becomes the proximate cause for the death of another. This crime most often happens when someone is not paying attention behind the wheel and caused a wreck.

If the death results from a minor infraction, such as texting while driving, failure to stop at a stop sign or making an illegal turn, then the charge will most likely only be a misdemeanor. In that case, the maximum punishment a person could face would be one (1) year in county jail.

However, if the death resulted from more serious negligence or disregard for the safety of others, such as while drinking and driving, then the person causing the death could end up facing first degree manslaughter charges as described above.

If you or a loved one are facing any type of manslaughter charge you should immediately consult an Oklahoma manslaughter defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C. for a free case evaluation.

What is the Difference Between Manslaughter and Murder?

Link to murder page