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What is the Law on Manslaughter in Nevada and what are the Punishments for it?

A homicide takes place when an individual kills another person irrespective of whether the act was committed legally or illegally.

Although all illegal killings are regarded as severe criminal offenses, the state of Nevada categorizes homicides into distinct categories based on the circumstances that surround the killing. These categories in the state are as follows:

  • First-degree murder
  • Voluntary manslaughter
  • Second-degree murder
  • Involuntary manslaughter

These categories have been created as the society typically perceives some kinds of killings being more deliberately carried out than others, the latter being committed without premeditation or specific intent. The article covers an overview of the state’s voluntary and involuntary manslaughter laws.

Nevada Manslaughter Law

Voluntary manslaughter in Nevada

Although voluntary manslaughter has been defined differently from one state to another, the crime usually comprises those killings where the offender did not have a prior intention to end the life of the victim. Rather, he/she killed the victim suddenly.

A pertinent example of this is when a husband returns home and finds his spouse cheating on him with her lover. When the husband kills the wife in a blind fury, it is likely that the killing could come under the category of voluntary manslaughter.

On the other hand, when the husband got a “cooling off” period prior to the killing, then there is a possibility for the killing to be falling under the category of murder instead of manslaughter.

Defining voluntary manslaughter

If a killing has to be qualified as voluntary manslaughter, there should be highly provoking and serious harm caused to the killer which is adequate to trigger an uncontrollable passion natural for any reasonable individual or an attempt made by the victim for the commission of a severe personal injury to the killer.

Manslaughter Law Nevada

To put it simply, if killing has to be classified as voluntary manslaughter, it should be the outcome of a violent and sudden impulse of irresistible passion. However, in case there is a gap between the provocation or assault and the killing, the killing may be regarded as an act to take revenge deliberately and penalized as a murder.

Punishment for voluntary manslaughter in Nevada

Considered as a felony of a Class B, voluntary manslaughter is penalized by a maximum fine of 10,000 USD and a maximum jail term of 10 years.

Involuntary manslaughter in Nevada

Typically, involuntary manslaughter refers to killing a person with no intention of doing so while committing:

  • A legal act that had the potential of producing such an outcome in an illegal manner, or
  • An unlawful act

However, when an involuntary killing happens while committing an unlawful act that has a natural tendency of ending the life or a person or is done while engaged in a felonious intent in Nevada, the offense is considered as a murder instead of manslaughter.


Punishment for involuntary manslaughter in Nevada

An individual found of guilty of the involuntary manslaughter commits a felony in Class D, which is penalized by a maximum fine of 5,000 USD and a prison term between 1 to 5 years.

Voluntary manslaughter versus involuntary manslaughter

The state of Nevada defines manslaughter as the illegal killing of an individual without malice (implied or express), and without any kind of deliberation. Thereafter, manslaughter is further classified into voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter based on whether such killing was done with intent.

If a killing has to qualify under the category of voluntary manslaughter, the offender should have been severely provoked by the victim and the killing took place suddenly out of rage and passion. Typically, the state of Nevada defines involuntary manslaughter as a killing that occurred unintentionally because of criminal negligence or recklessness.

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