When someone is accused of killing another person, you may automatically assume that murder charges will be filed. While this is possible, it is important to realize there are different types of criminal charges that can result after a homicide in Maryland. In addition to different degrees of murder, a person may also face manslaughter charges, which can be of varying degrees.
A person walks into their home and finds their spouse in bed with another person. In a fit of rage, they end up killing one of them in the bed. This type of situation may lead to voluntary manslaughter charges, which is commonly called a crime of passion.
If rage or another passionate emotion overtakes a person and it results in an unplanned killing, they may be charged with voluntary manslaughter. While less than intentional murder, this is a serious felony offense that can lead to up to 10 years in state prison if you are convicted.
Even if you accidentally killed someone, you can still face involuntary manslaughter charges if the prosecutor believes you were engaging in a criminally reckless or negligent act or a criminal misdemeanor (acts that are felonies are charged as murder). Some common acts that can lead to involuntary manslaughter include:
A conviction of involuntary manslaughter can also lead to a prison sentence of up to 10 years, however, that sentence may be less severe if you were acting with criminal negligence or drunk driving, which carries a possible penalty of up to five years imprisonment.
If You Have Been Arrested, Call a Baltimore Homicide Defense Lawyer Immediately