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Maryland’s involuntary manslaughter laws

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2021 | Criminal Defense

A homicide charge of any kind is one of the most serious you could ever face. If you are a resident of Maryland and have been arrested for involuntary manslaughter, you should also know about the state’s laws for this type of charge

What is involuntary manslaughter?

Individuals who find themselves facing involuntary manslaughter charges need a strong criminal defense strategy in their case. Involuntary manslaughter is a serious homicide offense that involves the killing of another person. The reason why this crime is called “involuntary” is because the perpetrator did not intend for the victim to die. Vehicular manslaughter is an example of this offense.

A person can be charged with involuntary manslaughter if another person dies while they were in the midst of performing an illegal act, behaved negligently or did not take a legal duty to prevent the death. For example, if someone was driving drunk, ran a red light and hit a pedestrian, killing them, they could face involuntary manslaughter charges.

What are the penalties for involuntary manslaughter?

Although involuntary manslaughter is not considered as serious as murder, it is still often classified as a felony. Penalties for involuntary manslaughter depend on the circumstances surrounding the case. If a person is found to be grossly negligent, they can face harsher penalties than when found to be criminally negligent. In the most serious charge, vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, classified as a felony in the first degree, can result in a prison sentence of three years and a maximum fine of $5,000.

A criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter charge, which is classified as a misdemeanor, can result in the same penalties. In this case, the individual should have known that their behavior and actions posed a serious risk of death to the victim or other people, in general.