Manslaughter Defense Lawyer in Utah
If you, a family member or loved one is under investigation for manslaughter or have already been charged with the very serious offense of manslaughter in Utah, it is crucial that you seek immediate representation by an experienced, qualified manslaughter lawyer to examine your case and help determine your legal options. Contact Wasatch Defense Attorneys today for a no-obligation consultation at 801-845-3509.
What is Manslaughter?
The state of Utah defines the crime of manslaughter as causing the unintentional death of another person through a reckless act without premeditation under Utah Criminal Code ANN. § 76-5-205 et seq. Manslaughter is a second-degree felony that can carry fines up to $10,000 (maximum) and is punishable by 1 – 15 years in prison.
Manslaughter with Aggravating Circumstances
While the sentencing for manslaughter cannot exceed the maximum amount in fines or time behind bars, the sentence may be enhanced with the addition of aggravating factors like manslaughter as a hate crime or manslaughter in the presence of a child.
Vehicular Manslaughter in Utah
Vehicular manslaughter is causing the death of another person as a result of reckless behavior, using a wireless hand-held communication device or DUI while operating a motor vehicle. In addition to fines and jail time, the accused person’s driver’s license will be immediately revoked and may receive probation with special requirements at the time of sentencing.
Manslaughter Resulting from Assault or Child Abuse
An assault that causes the death of another person from knowingly attempting to injure or intentionally injuring another person with unlawful force or violence can be tried in Utah as manslaughter in cases where circumstances do not amount to murder. If the accused person causes the death of anyone under the age of 18 while committing child abuse, he or she will be charged with manslaughter in the state of Utah.
Murder Reduced to Manslaughter Charge
Utah law allows for some mitigating circumstances surrounding a murder charge or attempted murder charge to be reduced to manslaughter or attempted manslaughter in the following instances:
- Reasonable Belief of Necessity and Duress – If the accused person believed they were acting reasonably with legal justification while conducting the offense, even though it was not legally justifiable in the circumstances. For example, if the accused person thought someone was pointing a gun at him or her but later discovered it was actually a cell phone.
- Acting Under Delusion – Reduced charges may apply when an accused person honestly believed delusional thoughts of duress and acted under their immediate pressure. The actions resulting from the delusional thoughts must be proven reasonable if the delusion had been real. A good example is if an accused person suffering from insanity is compelled by an irresistible impulse to commit an illegal act resulting in the death of another person. This defense will not apply if drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor.
- Extreme Emotional Distress – Sometimes called, “in the heat of passion,” extreme emotional distress from another person will cause the accused person to act irrationally by committing an intentional act of harm resulting in death. Oftentimes, this type of defense is a reaction resulting from a spouse or partner having an affair.
Choose a Qualified Manslaughter Defense Attorney in Utah
If you have been charged with manslaughter in Utah, it is important to contact a qualified, experienced manslaughter attorney to safeguard your legal rights and ensure the best possible outcome. Wasatch Defense Lawyers utilize every resource available to prepare your legal defense for legal proceedings and the upcoming trial. We believe that everyone deserves a fair trial and we are here to support you and your family during this difficult time. Call us today for a free, no-obligation case review at 801-845-3509.