Personal Attention.
Aggressive Defense.

Photo of Thomas C. Mooney

When can you be charged with involuntary manslaughter in MD?

On Behalf of | Feb 12, 2024 | Felonies

Few things are as devastating as being accused of taking someone’s life. If you are accused of involuntary manslaughter, it’s in your best interest that you take the matter seriously and figure out how to defend against the charges that you’re facing.

Involuntary manslaughter, or “criminal negligent homicide” as it is often referred, to happens when a person’s criminal negligence results in another person’s unintentional death.

Involuntary manslaughter under Maryland state law

Maryland law does not explicitly define involuntary manslaughter. Rather, it refers to the common law’s definition of this crime based on one’s intent, or lack thereof. Under the state’s common law, you can be accused of involuntary manslaughter if:

  • You unintentionally cause another person’s death
  • Your unlawful or negligent actions result in another person’s death

For example, you may be accused of involuntary manslaughter if you cause a fatal car crash that is attributable to speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving or if you prescribe improper medication for a patient.

Under the state’s statute, involuntary manslaughter is a felony that is punishable by jail time and/or a fine.

Types of involuntary manslaughter

This type of crime can take multiple forms depending on the circumstances surrounding it. With that said, here are the most common types of involuntary manslaughter that you need to be aware of:

  • Criminal negligence manslaughter – this happens if a person grossly deviates from a reasonable standard of care, thus, causing death in the process. This type of involuntary manslaughter is devoid of intent to cause harm.
  • Reckless manslaughter – this happens when a person’s reckless behavior causes death. It involves acting with clear knowledge of the risks involved but nonetheless overlooking them, resulting in death.

Involuntary manslaughter may not be as serious as murder. However, it is still treated as a felony, and the penalties can be severe if you are convicted. Find out how proper legal counsel can help you defend yourself if you are charged with involuntary manslaughter.