What is the Law on Manslaughter in New York and What is the Punishment for It?
Manslaughter and murder are dealt with differently by the law. Manslaughter is when the death of a person is caused accidentally without any intention to cause death. Manslaughter can be classified in different ways based on the situation and circumstances.
While murder carries the death penalty or life imprisonment, manslaughter generally has a lesser punishment owing to the nature of the crime. Each state has its own provisions to deal with manslaughter.
Manslaughter in New York
In the state of New York, Article 125 of the New York Penal Law defines the law related to manslaughter. The law defines four different categories of manslaughter.
The first one is manslaughter in the second degree. As per the law, if a person causes the death of another person recklessly or performs an abortion leading to the woman’s death or aids or intentionally causes a person to commit suicide, then it is considered as second-degree manslaughter.
Manslaughter in the first degree is where a person attempts to cause an injury to another and in the process, the other person or anyone else dies. Also, as per the laws, murder, when done because of emotional disturbance, can be considered as manslaughter in the first degree.
Reckless conduct by someone 18 years or older with someone less than eleven years causing that person’s death is also considered as first-degree manslaughter. Abortion done on a person more than 24 weeks pregnant, leading to her death is also as first-degree manslaughter.
Aggravated manslaughter of the second degree is where a person causes the death of a police/peace officer through his/her reckless conduct when the officer was carrying out his/her duties.
Aggravated manslaughter of the first degree is where a person attacks a police or peace officer on duty with the intention of causing injury and in the process causes the death of the officer.
Also, when a person intends to murder a police officer who is carrying out his/her duties but commits the act because of emotional disturbance, then under the New York law this would be considered as aggravated manslaughter of the first degree.
Accidents caused by vehicles is considered vehicular manslaughter. It would be a second-degree offense if the accident leads to death and the driver was intoxicated. It is considered a first-degree manslaughter if the driving privileges of the accused had been suspended or had been convicted earlier of drunk driving or vehicular manslaughter or led to the death of someone below 15 who was in the vehicle.
Punishment under the law
As per the New York laws, manslaughter is classified under different heads and invite different punishments.
Manslaughter in the second degree is considered as a Class C felony. A conviction would lead to a fine and/or imprisonment for a period of not more than 15 years.
Manslaughter in the first degree is more serious and is considered as a Class B felony. A conviction would lead to a fine and/or imprisonment for a period of not more than 25 years.
Aggravated manslaughter in the second degree is considered as a Class C felony. A conviction would lead to a fine and/or imprisonment for a period of not more than 15 years.
Aggravated manslaughter in the first degree is considered as a Class B felony. A conviction would lead to a fine and/or imprisonment for a period of not more than 25 years.
Vehicular manslaughter in the first degree is a Class C felony and will lead to imprisonment of up to 15 years. Vehicular manslaughter in the second degree is a Class D felony and would lead to a maximum of 7 years in jail.