Alabama Manslaughter Laws

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.


About handlawfirm

Born September 12, 1964, Ben earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree from Auburn University in 1987 and a Juris Doctorate degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1990. Ben has been a practicing attorney since 1990 and spent six years in Central America. He is familiar with customs and conditions of the region and is fluent in Spanish. Ben established and is currently the Vice President of the Legal and Contracting with Emergency Response Training Systems, the only company to run military style software (jcats/acats) for training of civilian law enforcement (ERTS Opelika, Alabama). This also provides homeland security training for the Auburn University Homeland Security department. Ben Hand is the winner of various Who’s-Who Awards, the Republican of the year for 2001, and a Republican Nominee for the U.S. House in 1994. He is licensed to practice law in Alabama and Georgia. Ben founded Hand, Fellows and Associates law firm and is the founding member of the board of directors of Beacon University in Columbus, Georgia. Ben currently represents thirty-two different non-profit organizations in Alabama, Texas, Georgia and Tennessee. He is a business legal adviser to seventy-five different small businesses and corporations. Ben was hired by Chief of police, Terry Sanders, to represent him in a dispute with the Valley City Council in Valley, Alabama and was also hired by Chief of Police, Ben Brown, to represent him in negotiations with the Lanett City Council and the mayor of Lanett, Alabama. The former city attorney for Uniontown, Alabama, Ben is a city prosecutor for cities of Opelika and Roanoke in Alabama. Ben is a family court referee in Lee County, Alabama and was appointed by Governor Bob Riley as an Administrative Law Judge for State Health Planning and Development Agency. He successfully represented the State Republican party in Lee County during Governor Bob Riley’s election challenge 2002. Governor Bob Riley was elected by a narrow margin and the outgoing Governor challenged the election. Ben was asked by Governor Riley to represent him in Lee County. Governor Riley won and the challenge was dropped by the outgoing Governor. Ben was a guest lecturer for the Auburn University Safe House. He instructed the local law enforcement and Domestic Violence counselors on obtaining protection from abuse orders. Ben was a guest lecturer for Auburn University SOAR for lawyers and realtors on construction law. He is an elder at Believers Church in Auburn, AL and on the board of directors for the Spirit of Life Church in Murfreesboro, TN. Ben is a Gideon speaker and member since 1992 and a Municipal Judge in Wedowee, Alabama since 1995. Ben%2
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