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Understanding the Maryland voluntary manslaughter law

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2022 | Violent crimes

Voluntary manslaughter has been very precisely defined in the state of Maryland. This is an intentional killing that takes place in the “heat of passion.” The person charged with this crime has been subjected to intense provocation. They have not been given any amount of time to cool off and reconsider their action.

What are examples of voluntary manslaughter?

Maryland manslaughter laws are designed to respond to violent crimes that are committed in the state. This type of crime can take place in a wide variety of situations. You may have returned to your home only to find your spouse in bed with another person. This sent you into a fit of rage that ended in the killing of one or both parties.

You may also have been confronted on the street by someone who gave you no choice but to defend yourself. You used deadly force because you believed that you would be harmed or killed if you did not. This belief may turn out to be unreasonable. However, it was your honest belief at the time that you acted.

This type of defense is considered “imperfect.” It is recognized that your judgment in the circumstances was flawed. However, the malice required for murder was missing. If your argument is accepted by the court, it can mean that the charge against you may be lowered. This can result in a lesser penalty.

How can you defend yourself against this charge?

In order to reduce your charges to voluntary manslaughter, you will need to show that you believed violence was needed to defend yourself. You will also need to prove that there was no malice or premeditation in your actions. The point is to show that you responded to a situation that was forced on you.

Keep in mind that it will be the duty of the prosecutor to prove that it was you that committed the act. If there is any way for your legal representative to disprove the evidence that is presented, they will do so. This could result in a dismissal of your case.