Manslaughter Lawyer in Indianapolis

Manslaughter charges can be confusing and frightening, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the legal system. Manslaughter is a serious criminal offense in Indiana, and it can result in imprisonment and other penalties. If charged, you’re likely confused about the legal process, worried about the potential penalties, and unsure where to turn for help.

Our experienced manslaughter defense attorneys can answer your questions, explain your alternatives, and safeguard your rights. Today, the lawyers of Eskew Law, LLC will explore Indiana’s manslaughter laws and why hiring an experienced and compassionate legal team like ours is crucial for your legal defense.

If you have questions or would like to speak with a defense lawyer, please contact us today.

What Is Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is a homicide offense that involves the unlawful killing of another person but lacks the malice aforethought or premeditation and deliberation necessary for a murder conviction.

Indiana Manslaughter Statutes

Indiana recognizes two main types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary. Both involve the death of another person but apply in different scenarios. 

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter occurs when you intentionally kill someone, but you commit the act while in an intense emotional state provoked by significant wrongdoing on the part of the victim.

For example, imagine witnessing your child being physically assaulted, and, in a moment of intense emotional distress, you react by attacking that person, and that attack results in their death. 

Although a severe offense, voluntary manslaughter carries a lesser penalty than murder due to the mitigating factor of sudden emotional disturbance or distress known as the sudden heat of passion.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Involuntary manslaughter involves an unintended killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence. Recklessness refers to consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm. You are aware that your actions are risky, but you do them anyway. 

With criminal negligence, the idea is that you should have been aware your behavior endangered others, even if you were not actually aware of the risk. Therefore, criminal negligence is an act that grossly deviates from the degree of care a reasonable person would take in the same or similar situation. 

Drunk driving that results in a fatality is a typical example of involuntary manslaughter. Another example would be a person going 100 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Another example would be a person going 100 mph in a 55 mph zone. This act, while not intentional, demonstrates a blatant disregard for the safety of others. If the act results in death, it could form the basis for an involuntary manslaughter charge.  

As of the writing of this article in 2024, in Indiana, involuntary manslaughter also covers cases involving the killing of a fetus in any stage of development.

Vehicular manslaughter

Vehicular manslaughter is considered a form of involuntary manslaughter in Indiana. It occurs when you operate a vehicle while intoxicated or if you drive recklessly or negligently—and someone is killed as a result.

Knowing the specific type of manslaughter charge you’re facing is vital. It is crucial to have a skilled legal team on your side. Eskew Law, LLC, can help you navigate the complexities of Indiana manslaughter laws and build a strong defense strategy.

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Penalties for Manslaughter in Indianapolis

A manslaughter conviction carries significant consequences, and depending on the specific charge, the penalty could include incarceration.

  • Voluntary Manslaughter—is a Level 2 Felony punishable by a 10 to 30-year prison sentence;
  • Involuntary Manslaughter—this is either a Level 5 Felony punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison, or a Level 6 Felony that’s punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison; and
  • Vehicular Manslaughter—is typically a Level 5 Felony, but if you are intoxicated, it is a Level 4 Felony and punishable by up to 12 years in prison. 

Regardless of your charge, you also face a maximum fine of $10,000.

In addition to incarceration and fines, you may also face civil lawsuits for wrongful death, probation or parole, loss of your driving privileges, and the social stigma of a criminal record. These penalties can significantly impact your employment opportunities, housing opportunities, and relationships.

Don’t underestimate the seriousness of these charges. Contacting a skilled Indianapolis manslaughter lawyer as soon as possible is your best chance of minimizing the damage and achieving a favorable outcome.

Possible Defenses Against Manslaughter Charges in Indianapolis

Facing a manslaughter charge can feel overwhelming, but you have various potential defenses to explore with your attorney. Here are some examples:

    • Self-defense. You acted in self-defense or defense of another person from imminent harm.
    • Defending your home. You used reasonable force to protect your home from a break-in.
    • Mistake of fact. You acted based on a genuine misunderstanding of the situation.
    • Medical reasons. You had a legal prescription for the medication that impaired your driving.
  • Insanity. You were unable to distinguish between right and wrong due to mental disease or defect. 

Our Indianapolis manslaughter attorneys will identify your case’s most effective defense strategy.

Eskew Law, LLC: Your Indianapolis Manslaughter Lawyers 

The legal complexities of an Indiana voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter charge are daunting, and the stakes are incredibly high. Our experienced Indianapolis manslaughter lawyers handle the hard work for you, including:

  • Breaking down the charges. We’ll analyze the charges against you, explain the legal aspects of your case, and advise you on the potential outcomes.
  • Investigating the circumstances. A thorough investigation is vital to uncovering evidence that supports your defense. Your attorney will gather information, interview witnesses, and explore all available options.
  • Developing a defense strategy. Based on the specifics of your case, your lawyer will build a compelling defense strategy to achieve the most favorable outcome. Positive outcomes include the dismissal of charges, the negotiation of a favorable plea bargain, or a successful trial defense.
  • Representing you in court. We will confidently represent you in court. We will protect your rights and be your voice throughout the legal proceedings.
  • Protecting your rights. Our attorneys have the expertise to navigate police interactions, shield you from self-incrimination, and guarantee a fair hearing. In short, we work to uphold your rights throughout the legal process.

Eskew Law, LLC, is built on a foundation of client-centered representation. We believe in open communication and keeping you informed throughout the legal process. Our team is dedicated to offering you personalized guidance and unwavering support tailored to your needs. We have 

a history of achieving positive client outcomes, even in difficult situations.

You don’t have to take on the challenges and risks of this complex legal battle alone. Get the support and expertise you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with our experienced Indianapolis manslaughter attorneys.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter in Indianapolis?

Murder requires the intent to kill. Manslaughter involves unintentional killings due to recklessness or impulsive actions.

How Long Will a Manslaughter Case Take in Indiana?

The length of a manslaughter case in Indiana can vary significantly depending on the case’s complexity, the specific charges, and whether you go to trial. Simple cases with strong defenses might resolve faster through plea bargains. Complex cases with extensive investigations and trials can take months or even years.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Indianapolis Manslaughter Attorney?

The cost varies depending on the complexity of your case and the attorney’s experience. Some attorneys offer free consultations to discuss your situation and fees. 

Can I Get a Reduced Sentence for Manslaughter?

Plea bargains or sentence reductions are possible, depending on the specifics of your case and your lawyer’s negotiation skills.

Next Steps

1. Consultation Meet with the attorney to discuss your legal issue. This initial meeting helps you understand their expertise and decide if they're the right fit.
2. Agreement Review and sign a retainer agreement. This contract outlines the services, fees, and other essential terms.
3. Documents Gather and provide all relevant documents related to your case. This step helps your attorney build your case efficiently.
4. Communication Set expectations for how and when you'll communicate with your attorney. Clear communication ensures that you stay informed throughout the process.

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