Involuntary Manslaughter Sentence: Understand Key Facts
November 21, 2023
The killing of a human being is a criminal offense in the State of Nevada. Exactly what criminal offense you are charged with and what penalties you face if you kill someone will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the killing. If you are charged with involuntary manslaughter, for example, you need to understand what the State must prove to convict you and what sentence you face if convicted.
How Does Nevada Law Define Involuntary Manslaughter?
Nevada Revised Statutes Section 200.70 governs the crime of involuntary manslaughter defined as “the killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, in the commission of an unlawful act, or a lawful act which probably might produce such a consequence in an unlawful manner, but where the involuntary killing occurs in the commission of an unlawful act, which, in its consequences, naturally tends to destroy the life of a human being, or is committed in the prosecution of a felonious intent, the offense is murder.”
What Must the State Prove to Convict Me of Involuntary Manslaughter in Nevada?
In simpler terms, a person commits involuntary manslaughter if they unintentionally kill someone while they are committing an unlawful act or a lawful, but negligent, act.
To better understand what constitutes involuntary manslaughter in Nevada it may help to consider some examples of killings that would likely be charged as involuntary manslaughter, such as:
- Operating a construction crane while under the influence and killing someone because you were not paying attention.
- Failing to make sure a gun is unloaded before cleaning it and the gun discharges, killing someone.
- When running from the police you drop a baggie of heroin that is picked up by a child who ingests it and dies.
- While breaking into a house you unintentionally start a fire that kills the homeowner who (unbeknownst to you) was asleep in the home.
In each of these scenarios, the killing was unintentional. In the first two scenarios, someone was killed while you were negligently committing a lawful act while the last two killings occurred during the commission of an unlawful act. Note that vehicular manslaughter is not included within the definition of involuntary manslaughter.
What Is the Potential Sentence for an Involuntary Manslaughter Conviction in Nevada?
Involuntary manslaughter is the least serious of all possible criminal offenses related to a homicide or killing. Charged as Class D Felony, involuntary manslaughter carries a potential term of imprisonment of one to four years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. You may also be ordered to serve time on probation in addition to, or in lieu of, time in prison.
Along with understanding the sentencing options for an involuntary manslaughter conviction, it is equally important to understand the indirect implications of a conviction. For example, you will have a felony conviction on your criminal record. You may be eligible to have that record sealed five years after you complete your sentence; however, even sealing a record does not completely erase the record. You may also face deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen and lose eligibility for future employment.
What Should I Do If I Was Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in Nevada?
If you have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Las Vegas, the key to protecting your rights, your freedom, and your future is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Vegas Lawyers right away by calling 702-707-7000 or contacting us online.