Any case that deals with loss of life is potentially serious, for everyone involved, and convictions on these charges give rise to some of the strictest penalties in the United States, so it is important that you let us begin building your defense as early in the case as possible. One rule of thumb is that it is easier to develop an effective defense strategy from the start than to attempt to build a successful appeal, so any time that you face serious penalties like those for manslaughter in Alabama you should have an expert on your side to fight for your rights.
Gravity of Manslaughter Charges
According to Alabama Code Section 13A-6-3, manslaughter can be defined two distinct ways. First, manslaughter can be a reckless act that results in someone’s death. This is a common manslaughter cause, and most people will see the charge based on this definition. Second, manslaughter can be a result of a crime of passion, but there are strict laws and statutes that govern when this can be applied to a situation. For instance:
- The provocation—underlying cause—for the homicide must be acceptable by Alabama law, such as in the heat of passion.
- The person provoked must not have been allowed sufficient time to calm down, defined by state law as a reasonable amount of time.
Keep in mind that manslaughter is not a misdemeanor charge, regardless of the particulars of the case or your criminal background. Even a first time offender will see a felony charge for manslaughter. Your best defense is to consult with us and develop an effective support for yourself, whether it is your innocence or a valid argument for your defense, such as self-defense or heat of passion.
Penalty for Manslaughter if Convicted
Do not think that you are safe if the manslaughter charge is your first offense, because this makes little or no difference other than the penalty possibly leaning toward the minimum end instead of the state maximum punishment. Even for a first offense, you could receive a minimum of three years in state prison, plus up to $30,000 in monetary fines. One of our goals is to keep you out of jail if at all possible, especially those with a clear criminal background and a family to support.
We work hard to achieve the ultimate goal in every case: an acquittal or dismissed/dropped charges. Sometimes, this just is not possible, so we shift our focus to as minimal of an intrusion into your life as possible. Our track record is excellent in this regard, with more than 90% of our clients receiving a far smaller penalty than they had anticipated at the outset.