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Voluntary Manslaughter Defined

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is a specific type of murder charge. When an individual is convicted of voluntary manslaughter, it indicates that he/she intended to kill his/her victim, but he/she did not plan the murder prior to the incident. To be convicted of manslaughter, the defense must prove that the defendant was sufficiently provoked. The absence of the provocation may result in a more serious criminal conviction and sentence.

The victim must have engaged in some type of behavior or activity that adequately explained the offender's rage. The behavior must be suitable to cause a normal individual to suddenly exhibit passion intense enough to warrant the loss of self-control. In addition, the murder must have occurred immediately after the offending behavior or action. If the offender waited an extended period before acting on his/her anger, then he/she planned the murder and will receive a murder conviction as opposed to a manslaughter conviction.

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