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Indianapolis Manslaughter Lawyer

Charged with Manslaughter in Indianapolis?

Manslaughter is a type of homicide that involves the death of another individual but is not premeditated. While it is a type of homicide, manslaughter is not a type of murder. Rather, it is a lesser offense to murder that carries with it less severe penalties.

If you have been charged with manslaughter, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At The Criminal Defense Team, our legal group of Indianapolis manslaughter attorneys is comprised of former prosecutors who can help you fight the charges against you and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Why Choose the Indianapolis Manslaughter Attorneys at The Criminal Defense Team?

If you are facing serious criminal charges such as manslaughter, you need an experienced manslaughter attorney in Indianapolis in your corner. The choice you make in your attorney can have a lasting effect on your life and future.

Some of the reasons you should consider hiring The Criminal Defense Team of Baldwin Perry & Wiley PC include: 

  • A Team of Former Prosecutors: Our team consists of former prosecutors. We know how the other side handles cases and we can anticipate their strategies. We can also work with our former co-workers to negotiate favorable plea bargains and fight for reduced charges when the case merits it.
  • Board-Certified Specialists: Board certification is a rare accolade that only a small number of attorneys in a state can claim. It requires showing proficiency in a particular area of the law and passing a written exam. In Indiana, there are only five Board-Certified* Criminal Trial Specialists. Four of these attorneys are right here at The Criminal Defense Team. When you hire us, you know we have the knowledge and tenacity to build the best possible defense strategy in your case.
  • Experience: There is no substitute for relevant experience. Our lawyers boast more than 110+ years of combined experience we can put to use to fight for the best outcome possible for your case. 
  • Collaborative Team Approach: When you hire our firm, you benefit from the combined knowledge and experience of our attorneys. Multiple attorneys can work on your case, providing the resources and attention you need. We focus exclusively on criminal law, so you can trust that we have the singular goal of helping you throughout the criminal justice system. 
  • Results – We have successfully represented individuals who faced murder, manslaughter, and other serious criminal charges. 

When you hire our firm, you can trust us to assist you with every step in the legal process from the initial investigation to trial representation. We will gather evidence to help establish your defense and fight to protect your rights every step of the way. Contact the manslaughter lawyers in Indianapolis today to take advantage of a confidential case review where we can discuss how we can help.

Request your consultation today by calling (317) 687-8326 or filling out our online contact form.

How Our Skilled Indianapolis Manslaughter Attorneys Can Help You

If you are facing manslaughter charges, The Criminal Defense Team can help you fight back and protect your rights. When you hire us, we can:

Provide You with Sound Legal Advice 

You will likely encounter many important decisions to make during your case. Our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers can help you navigate the complex legal process and safeguard your rights. They will provide sound legal advice every step of the way. 

Investigate Your Case

Our investigative team can dig into your case to identify all possible defenses, mitigating factors, and legal strategies that are calculated to be effective in your case. We can interview witnesses and gather evidence to help build your defense. 

Negotiate with the Prosecutor 

Your Indianapolis manslaughter lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney that shields you from the harshest penalties possible. An experienced manslaughter lawyer can negotiate aggressively for the best deal possible under the circumstances. We can then consult with you to advise you of the pros and cons of the options available to you. 

Represent You in Court 

When you’re facing serious charges like manslaughter, you need a trial attorney who will have the skills and resources to take your case to court and fight tirelessly for your acquittal. Our firm has represented countless clients in your position. We will do everything we can to bring about the best possible outcome in your case. 

Manslaughter Laws in Indiana

In Indiana, manslaughter is a criminal offense that involves the unlawful killing of another person without the intent to kill or with the intent to cause serious bodily injury. 

The main difference between murder and manslaughter lies in the perpetrator’s intent and state of mind when causing the death of another person. The key distinction is the presence or absence of malice aforethought, which refers to the intention to cause serious harm or kill another person. If you are being charged with murder rather than manslaughter, reach out to our Indianapolis murder lawyers today to learn more about the difference and how this could affect your case.

Indiana’s laws differentiate between two types of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

Voluntary Manslaughter 

Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally kills another person or fetus in any stage of development but does so in the heat of passion or in sudden, uncontrollable anger. This violent crime typically involves a provocation that would cause a reasonable person to lose self-control. 

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter refers to the unintentional killing of another person as a result of reckless conduct or criminal negligence. This offense involves a disregard for the safety and well-being of others but without the intent to cause harm.

Specifically, Indiana law states involuntary manslaughter occurs when the defendant kills another human being while committing or attempting to commit any of the following crimes:

  • A Level 5 or 6 felony that inherently poses a risk of serious bodily injury
  • A Class A misdemeanor that inherently poses a risk of serious bodily 
  • Battery

If the defendant kills a fetus, it is considered involuntary manslaughter if the defendant was committing or attempting to commit any of the following offenses during the death: 

  • A Level 5 or 6 felony that inherently poses a risk of serious bodily injury
  • A Class A misdemeanor that inherently poses a risk of serious bodily 
  • A battery offense included in IC 35-42-2
  • Violations under Indiana law pertaining to operating a vehicle while intoxicated

The circumstances surrounding the offense dictate the potential penalties that can be imposed upon a conviction. 

Penalties for Manslaughter in Indiana

In Indiana, voluntary manslaughter is considered a Level 2 felony, which is one of the most serious felony classifications. The penalties for voluntary manslaughter include a potential term of imprisonment of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

In Indiana, involuntary manslaughter can be charged as a Level 5 or Level 6 felony, depending on the specific circumstances. A Level 5 felony carries a potential prison sentence of up to 6 years and a fine of up to $10,000, while a Level 6 felony carries a potential sentence of up to 2.5 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

How Does the Prosecutor Prove Manslaughter?

In Indiana, the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor to establish the elements of manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt.

To prove manslaughter, the prosecutor must present evidence that supports the following key elements:

  1. Unlawful Killing: The prosecutor must demonstrate that a person’s death occurred as a result of the defendant’s actions. It must be established that the killing was not justified or legally excusable.
  2. Lack of Malice Aforethought: Unlike murder, the prosecutor must show that the defendant did not have malice aforethought. This means that the defendant did not have the intent to kill or cause serious bodily harm to the victim.
  3. Reckless or Negligent Conduct: The prosecutor must establish that the defendant’s actions leading to the death of another person were either reckless or criminally negligent. Recklessness refers to consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that one’s actions may cause harm. Criminal negligence involves a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.
  4. Causation: It must be shown that the defendant’s reckless or negligent conduct directly caused the death of the victim. The prosecutor needs to establish a causal link between the defendant’s actions and the resulting fatality.

To prove these elements, the prosecutor typically relies on various types of evidence, such as:

  • Witness testimonies: Eyewitnesses or individuals with knowledge of the events leading to the death may provide statements or testimony to establish the defendant’s actions and state of mind.
  • Physical evidence: Forensic evidence, such as autopsy reports, medical records, or crime scene analysis, can help establish the cause of death and support the prosecutor’s argument.
  • Expert testimony: Expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, may be called upon to provide their professional opinions and interpretations of the evidence.
  • Documentary evidence: Any relevant documents, such as police reports, photographs, or surveillance footage, can be introduced to support the prosecution’s case.

Your manslaughter attorney in Indianapolis will combat this evidence with persuasive legal arguments and their own evidence.

Potential Defenses to Manslaughter Charges

If you are facing manslaughter charges, it is important that you work with an experienced manslaughter attorney who can build a defense strategy that is personalized to the circumstances of your case. Depending on the situation, you may be able to argue defenses such as: 

  • Justified killing: There may be situations, such as using self-defense, when the killing is justified or excused under the law. Your lawyer can investigate the case to determine which viable defenses apply.
  • No risk of serious bodily injury: Your attorney could argue that the underlying facts did not involve a risk of serious bodily injury that was foreseeable, even if a death ultimately occurred. 
  • No reckless conduct: Your manslaughter lawyer may be able to argue that your conduct did not rise to a reckless level. For example, the case may have involved an accident or negligence but not recklessness that would justify a harsher sentence. Reckless conduct generally requires showing a conscious disregard for the safety of others. If we can show that you were not aware of the risk or that the risk was not inherently present, 
  • Lack of knowledge: In some cases, it may be a defense that you were not aware of some information that affects your criminal culpability.  

Just as the prosecutor can present evidence in your case, you have the right to present evidence to aid in your defense. Your lawyer can help evaluate the potential defenses to raise in your case. 

Let Our Team Defend You Today

If you are facing charges for manslaughter in Indiana, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced Indianapolis manslaughter lawyer for assistance. The Criminal Defense Team has four Board-Certified* Criminal Trial Specialists who understand what it takes to obtain the most favorable outcomes in the face of the most serious charges. Do not hesitate to let our Indianapolis manslaughter lawyer defend you from start to finish.