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

The Beehive state treats manslaughter differently than the rest of the country. While other states in the US divide manslaughter into either voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, Utah treats manslaughter according to certain factors.

These factors include how reckless was the act and whether negligence caused the death or whether it occurred while operating a car or truck. The state also factors in whether the death occurred during an assault or during a child abuse act.

Murder and manslaughter are different

Murder and manslaughter are different in that whereas, in the former, there is an intent to kill, in manslaughter there is an absence of intent to kill. There are exceptions to the manslaughter rules in Utah.

Manslaughter Law Utah
Thus, if you kill someone while experiencing extreme emotional distress or if you are mentally ill and acted under a delusion, then you will face murder charges. instead, you face manslaughter charges. The extenuating circumstances help to reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter.

Manslaughter laws in Utah

Utah has very definite manslaughter laws and defines manslaughter as death on account of a reckless act or murdering someone whilst acting under extreme emotional distress or under mental illness. The state further considers manslaughter to be a homicide. They will charge you with manslaughter if you kill someone but without intending to do so. Even a death caused by an accident can lead to your being charged with manslaughter.

The main differentiating factor between murder and manslaughter is your state of mind. If you acted deliberately to kill someone, then you have murdered someone. However, if a reckless act on your part resulted in the death of a human being, then you face manslaughter charges.

Utah Manslaughter Law
They can charge you with manslaughter in Utah if you fall into certain categories. You can kill a person if you justify the killing in your mind. So, in case you believe another person is threatening you with a gun but he/she was only holding a phone and if you kill that person, then they will charge you with manslaughter. The same holds true if you are under a mental delusion. However, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not admissible as being under a mental delusion.

Punishments for manslaughter in Utah

The state of Utah considers manslaughter to be a very serious crime. Manslaughter is in fact considered a second-degree felony and can cause both serving time in prison and paying a fine. The minimum jail time that you will have to serve if convicted of manslaughter in Utah is one year and the maximum jail time is fifteen years. In addition, you will pay a fine of up to a maximum of 10, 000 dollars.


They can punish you for manslaughter if you kill someone while driving your vehicle. In such a case, they will revoke your driving license. The Beehive state does not impose a death sentence on anyone convicted of manslaughter. They only give the death sentence to people convicted of aggravated murder. Even then, it is rare for the convict to face a death sentence.

Vehicular manslaughter

Vehicular manslaughter is a crime involving the death of one or more persons because of criminal negligence while operating a motor vehicle. We normally associate vehicular manslaughter with fatal accidents in which the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The punishment for this crime is a maximum imprisonment of fifteen years plus a maximum fine of 10, 000 dollars. If convicted of vehicular manslaughter, the state will revoke your driver's license. 

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