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What is the Law on manslaughter in Florida and What are the Punishments for it?

This piece provides an understanding through the intricacies of the meaning of Manslaughter, it's major types, levels/ degrees of manslaughter and the penalties for committing manslaughter in Florida, a southernmost U.S. state.

Manslaughter definition: The term Manslaughter can be defined as an illicit, heinous, deliberate act of killing a human being by the other, in the absence of a malice motive. The term manslaughter is also presented and defined under the common law system.

Manslaughter is considered as an extremely serious offense in most of the countries across the globe. Manslaughter is considered different from murder as the latter is marked by the presence of malice motive. The blameworthiness is less in manslaughter and it is considered less severe on moral grounds as first mentioned by Draco, a legislator from Athens in 7th century BC.

Major types of manslaughter: A manslaughter has the following major types:

(1) Voluntary manslaughter: The manslaughter that occurs when an individual provokes another individual to a degree that is adequate enough to provoke a normal person to lose his calm and self-control and kill another one is called voluntary manslaughter. In this, the crime is not planned in advance. It is more of a crime done in the sudden heat of the moment such as killing a burglar by a woman during a house robbery. 

Florida Manslaughter Law

(2) Involuntary manslaughter: The manslaughter in which an individual kills another in absence of any intention is called involuntary manslaughter. It can further be classified into:

(a) Constructive manslaughter: A killing without intent while committing a prohibited act further resulting in killing and thus the person constructively gets guilty of manslaughter too is called constructive manslaughter. A person trying to disobey the civil laws indulges in a fight with another person or peace officer and kills them.

(b) Criminally negligent manslaughter: When a person due to carelessness or not discharging their duty well, kills another person comes under criminally negligent manslaughter. Such as a doctor who doesn't treat the patient well and the patient dies because of it

(c) Manslaughter by the vehicles or dosages of toxins/poison/venom

Levels of manslaughter: Under the laws of various countries, manslaughter is seen usually under different levels called degrees. Commonly, three levels of manslaughter are as follows:

A) First-degree Manslaughters: A person with the direct intention of killing a person or injuring a person seriously comes under the first-degree manslaughter.

Manslaughter Law Florida

(B) Second-degree manslaughters: A person when kills another person thoughtlessly or hastily comes under second-degree manslaughter.

(a) Aggravated second-degree manslaughter: A person when kills another person thoughtlessly or hastily who's a peace officer or an officer appointed by the government and discharging his duties.

What are the general laws for manslaughter in Florida?

Florida Code Statutes Section 782.02-782.36 defines manslaughter and the penalties/punishments of manslaughter as mentioned in the law of Florida. It defines manslaughter as the killing of somebody by another person either deliberately or accidentally.

The involuntary manslaughter according to the law of Florida is not a planned killing of a person but occurs in haste or in the absence of giving major thought to it. The voluntary manslaughter is the deliberate, carefully planned, brutal killing of the victim. In a classic case of adultery where a husband kills his wife after he catches her cheating on him crimes under voluntary manslaughter.

The law of Florida identifies manslaughter as a second-degree felony and asks for the evidence of both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. In case, the law identifies that a weapon/ firearm was used in the course of the Manslaughter, the law will further shift from the offense of the second degree to the offense of the first degree.

Manslaughter Punishments in Florida

The law of Florida takes manslaughter as a serious offense and is subjected to the punishment accordingly. As a result of this, the following are the punishments decided by the law for the manslaughter in this U.S. state:

(A) The person guilty of manslaughter is served with a total of 15 years in jail.

(B) They are subjected to formal and informal trials for up to 15 years.

C) A penalty in the form of monetary charges, or in the form of fines up to $10,000.

Manslaughter with a Weapon or Firearm: In case, a firearm or weapon is used in a manslaughter, it becomes a more serious offense than simply manslaughter and is seen as a first degree offense, shifting from the second degree offense and results in 30 years in jail, up to 30 years of trials and a fine of $10,000.

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