Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

What is the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter in Georgia?

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

Adrian Herrara pleaded guilty this past week to a charge of voluntary manslaughter after slapping another man in the throat during a fight at a party which resulted in his death.

According to reports, the slap to the throat was hard enough to actually tear a major artery in the man's neck. The man was already deceased when police arrived to the scene.

Before Herrera's sentencing, he apologized to the victim's family. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the laws behind the manslaughter offenses in the state of Georgia in today's post.

Voluntary Manslaughter in Georgia

Voluntary Manslaughter in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-2 as:

A person commits the offense of voluntary manslaughter when he or she causes the death of another human being under circumstances which would otherwise be murder and if he acts solely as a result of a sudden, violent, and irresistible passion resulting from serious provocation sufficient to excite such passion in a reasonable person; however, if there should have been an interval between the provocation and the killing sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, of which the jury in all cases shall be the judge, the killing shall be attributed to deliberate revenge and be punished as murder. 

Voluntary manslaughter is a felony in Georgia. A conviction for voluntary manslaughter can include a prison term for no less than one year and nor more than twenty years. 

Involuntary Manslaughter in Georgia

Involuntary Manslaughter in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-3 as:

A person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of an unlawful act when he causes the death of another human being without any intention to do so:

  1. By the commission of an unlawful act other than a felony; or
  2. By the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner likely to cause death or great bodily harm

Involuntary manslaughter can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the offense. A person who is convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the commission of an unlawful act other than a felony will be punished by a prison term for no less than one year and nor more than ten years. A person who is found guilty of involuntary manslaughter by the commission of a lawful act but in an unlawful manner that was likely to cause death or great bodily harm will be charged with a misdemeanor. The consequences could include jail time, a fine, or both depending on the circumstances.

Practice Note

Homicide can be very difficult to understand, and each state has different laws regarding homicide offenses. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime in the state of Georgia, contact our offices today. The law is complicated, and as a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I, along all of the lawyers at our firm, know the ins and outs of criminal law in Georgia. Contact us today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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