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Haddon Heights Manslaughter Attorney

If you are arrested or questioned in connection to a criminal homicide in Haddon Heights, exercise your constitutional rights to remain silent and ask for an attorney. Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. has the experience and determination to protect your rights.

When is Manslaughter Charged?

The main difference between murder and manslaughter is intent. A defendant has the intent to murder, which is a first-degree crime. However, the homicide is considered manslaughter if committed recklessly or would have been murder, except that it was committed in the heat of passion upon reasonable provocation.

For the latter, the reasonable provocation must be so egregious as to cause an ordinary reasonable person to respond with fatal violence. Recklessness refers to a conscious disregard for the substantial risk of your actions and the gross deviation from the ordinary care that a reasonable person would use. For example, causing a fatal accident while driving drunk would be vehicular manslaughter resulting from recklessness.

Manslaughter is a second-degree crime, punishable by five to 10 years in prison. Under the New Jersey No Early Release Act, you would be required to serve at least 85 percent of your sentence for manslaughter before the possibility of parole.

Aggravated Manslaughter

The prosecution may pursue aggravated assault charges under two circumstances. You may be charged with aggravated assault as a result of reckless conduct that constitutes an extreme indifference to human life. Alternatively, you may be charged with aggravated manslaughter if somebody died as a result of your attempt to evade police. Aggravated manslaughter is a first-degree crime subject to 10 to 30 years incarceration.

Because the sentence is more severe, our attorneys consider whether to negotiate murder or aggravated manslaughter to the lesser charge of manslaughter. This tactic may spare a defendant a sentence of life in prison.

Defenses to Manslaughter

You are innocent until proven guilty. This means the prosecution must prove its manslaughter case beyond a reasonable doubt. Our firm whittles away at prosecutorial evidence to introduce that doubt. We consider the best defense theory to match the facts, such as:

  • Misidentification. We might present a credible alibi or question a biased photo lineup to prove the prosecution has the wrong person.
  • Self-defense. If you reasonably believed deadly force was immediately necessary to protect yourself for grievous bodily injury or death, homicide may be justified. However, the level of force must match the threat of harm.
  • Defense of another. You may be justified in using deadly force to protect another person who you reasonably believe is in danger of grievous bodily injury or death.
  • Insanity. You may have lacked the relevant mental state to commit the crime. Insanity defense is a difficult, rarely used tactic, but important to consider under an appropriate fact scenario.
  • Intoxication. Impairment by drugs or alcohol rarely results in an acquittal, but may warrant a reduction in charges.

Consult with a Haddon Heights Manslaughter Attorney

Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. is an experienced criminal defense law firm with experience representing clients that have been charged with manslaughter, murder and other felonies. Schedule a consultation at our Haddon Heights office by calling us at 856-547-7888, or contact us online now.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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