What is the Law on Manslaughter in Kansas and What are the Punishments for it?
In the US, individual states define manslaughter differently. However, a broad definition of manslaughter is that it involves the intentional killing of a person. In some ways, manslaughter resembles murder but there is a major difference. Manslaughter is different because the level of culpability of the culprit is not the same as for murder.
What is manslaughter?
If the killing involved an act involving a heated argument, or it took place because of provocation or the culprit only intended to harm the victim, then such an act is manslaughter. The circumstances of the case would help determine whether the charge is involuntary manslaughter or voluntary manslaughter. Depending on the state of mind of the culprit and the circumstances leading to the death of the victim, the culprit faces either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter charges.
Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter
In Kansas, they can charge a person with either involuntary manslaughter or voluntary manslaughter. The latter involves killing a human being with some malice in mind while the former involves killing a human being through negligence or in the absence of any malice. It all depends on the state of mind of the culprit.
In involuntary manslaughter, there is no intent to cause death. The circumstances leading to the crime may involve reckless actions or a felony or because of a lawful act committed unlawfully.
This is a charge against a culprit who intentionally kills another human being and the circumstances leading to the crime involve sudden arguments or passion at the moment's heat. In addition, they have committed the crime based on an unreasonable but honest belief that there was a need to use deadly force.
Penalties for manslaughter
Kansas manslaughter laws are clear and deem such acts to be violent crimes. Whether the charge leveled against the culprit is involuntary or voluntary manslaughter does not matter because we consider both offenses a felony. We classify voluntary manslaughter as a level 3 felony, while we consider involuntary manslaughter a level 5 felony. A conviction for any of these crimes would invite harsh punishment and long years behind bars. In addition, the culprit will also pay a fine.
The punishment for voluntary manslaughter is a fine of up to 3,00, 000 dollars plus up to 61 months behind bars. The punishment for involuntary manslaughter is up to 3,00, 000 dollars in fines and up to 34 months behind bars.
Prove your innocence
Anyone charged with voluntary manslaughter must do their best to prove they are not guilty of the crime. They also need to prove they acted justifiably, and it is also necessary to show that their actions do not qualify them in meeting the elements of voluntary manslaughter.
There is yet another type of manslaughter charge called vehicular manslaughter. This manslaughter involves a fatal car accident that occurred because the driver was drunk. If a person is operating a car or truck while under the influence of alcohol and they recklessly kill a human being, we can charge them with vehicular manslaughter.
The punishment for vehicular manslaughter in Kansas involves spending a year behind bars. We consider this kind of crime A misdemeanor though when the charges also involve DUI, then the culprit faces involuntary manslaughter charges, which then becomes a Level 4-person felony.
If convicted of this charge, you can spend between 38 and 172 months behind bars. Driving under the influence of alcohol and causing death because of reckless driving is one of the most common causes of highway fatalities in Kansas.