Manslaughter

Manslaughter – Arizona Criminal Defense Attorney

Manslaughter

In “manslaughter” or “negligent homicide.” Arizona’s manslaughter law is in Section 13-1103 of the Arizona Revised Statute, while the negligent homicide law is in Section 13-1102. The state defines manslaughter as:

Reckless (or “Voluntary”) Manslaughter:  A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(1). Class 2 Felony.

  • Definition:
    • Recklessly causes the death of another
    • Lesser included offenses may be: Negligent Homicide is generally a lesser. BUT, not if defense is voluntary intoxication. 
    • Felony Endangerment is NOT a lesser of Reckless Manslaughter.

Punishment Ranges:

There is no special sentencing range: use typical range for a Class 2 felony, from probation eligible (if no priors, non-dangerous, and no other enhancements make it prison mandatory), through Category 3 Repetitive Offender. It is not a flat time offense. This is all unless a specific applicable enhancement provides otherwise.

Potentially applicable sentencing enhancements could be: Dangerous; Serious offense; On-release; School zone; Criminal street gang; Human smuggling; and Domestic violence.

The following are NOT applicable sentencing enhancements: DCAC: Manslaughter is NOT an enumerated DCAC offense. A.R.S. § 13-705(P). Violent or Aggravated Felony: Manslaughter is NOT a violent or aggravated felony. A.R.S. § 13-706(F)(2).

Provocation/Heat of Passion/Sudden Quarrel Manslaughter: A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(2). Class 2 Felony.

  • Definition:
    • Committing Intentional, Knowing, or Reckless Second Degree Murder, but on sudden quarrel or heat of passion resulting in adequate provocation from the victim.
    • Reasonable person standard.
    • Lesser offenses are not currently discussed in caselaw.

Punishment Ranges:  see “Reckless Manslaughter” above.

Manslaughter by Coercion:  A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(4). Class 2 Felony.

  • Definition:
    • Committing Reckless Second Degree Murder due to coercion by use or threatened immediate use of unlawful deadly physical force upon defendant or third person, and a reasonable person in the situation would have been unable to resist.
    • Lesser offenses are not currently discussed in caselaw.

Punishment Ranges: see “Reckless Manslaughter” above.

Manslaughter by Providing Means to Commit Suicide.  A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(3). Class 2 Felony.

  • Definition:
    • Intentionally providing physical means to another to commit suicide with knowledge that they intend to commit suicide. A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(3)
    • NB: A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(3) was amended in 2014.
      • The prior statute read: “Intentionally aiding another to commit suicide.”

Lesser offenses are not currently discussed in caselaw.

Punishment Ranges: see “Reckless Manslaughter” above.

Manslaughter of Unborn Child by Physical Injury to the Mother. A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(5). Class 2 Felony.

  • Definition:
    • Knowingly or recklessly causing death of unborn child, with some exceptions, by any physical injury to the mother. A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(5), (B)(1)-(3).
    • NB: A.R.S. § 13-1103(A)(5) was amended in 2005.
      • The prior statute read: “knowingly or recklessly causing the death of an unborn child at any stage of its development by any physical injury to the mother of such child which would be murder if the death of the mother had occurred.”
      • All caselaw predates the 2005 amendment.
    • Lesser offenses are not currently discussed in caselaw.

Punishment Ranges: see “Reckless Manslaughter” above.

    • NB: Domestic Violence. A.R.S. § 13-3601(M)
      • Committed any classification of homicide knowing victim was pregnant
      • Increase maximum sentence by two years

Negligent Homicide (aka “involuntary manslaughter”). A.R.S. § 13-1102.  Class 4 Felony.

  • Definition
    • With criminal negligence, the defendant causes the death of another. (Includes an unborn child, with exceptions).
  • Difference between Reckless Manslaughter and Negligent Homicide:
    • Negligent homicide is distinguished from reckless manslaughter in that for the latter offense, the defendant is aware of the risk of death and consciously disregards it, whereas, for the former offense, he is unaware of the risk.
    • “The general rule is that negligent homicide is a lesser-included offense of manslaughter and the only difference between the offenses is an accused’s mental state at the time of the incident.”
  • Lesser offenses are not currently discussed in caselaw.

Punishment Ranges:

Typical sentencing range for a Class 4 felony, from probation eligible (if no priors, non-dangerous, and no other enhancements make it prison mandatory), through Category 3 Repetitive Offender. Not flat time unless a specific applicable enhancement provides otherwise.

Potentially applicable sentencing enhancements Dangerous; “Negligent homicide, . . . does not necessarily require the use of a dangerous instrument.”; On-release; School zone; Criminal street gang; Human smuggling; and Domestic violence.

NOT applicable sentencing enhancements: DCAC: Negligent Homicide is NOT an enumerated DCAC offense. A.R.S. § 13-705(P). “3 strikes” enhancements (serious, violent, aggravated felonies): Negligent Homicide is NOT a serious, violent or aggravated felony. A.R.S. § 13-706(F)(1),(2).

A negligent homicide charge might arise in many cases where the defendant did not mean to kill or even cause harm to the victim, such as a case involving a drunk driver. You need an experienced and aggressive Arizona Criminal Defense lawyer to form early and aggressive trial strategies to advantage of weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. I will fight for a dismissal of charges or a plea bargain that can significantly improve your future, or a win at trial.

If you would like to aggressively fight against robbery accusations and charges, contact the Litwak Law Group to set up a free consultation. It is best to start working on a defense and explore constitutional violations as early as possible.

Manslaughter Defense Lawyer Serving Phoenix And Throughout Arizona

If you are facing manslaughter charges, contact the Litwak Law Group now to schedule a free consultation.

 

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