Taking someone’s life has been seen as a very serious offense throughout human history. That being said, there has always been a clear distinction between intentionally taking someone’s life and unintentionally killing someone. While this distinction may not always be clear-cut, it can have a massive impact on the person who has been accused of either manslaughter or murder. If your actions have directly or indirectly resulted in someone’s death, you may be wondering whether you will face murder or manslaughter charges.
Both manslaughter and murder are serious crimes in Mississippi, and this is why it is very important to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These legal experts can help you pursue justice and avoid unnecessarily heavy penalties for your actions. Ideally, you should search for an attorney who has considerable experience with murder and manslaughter cases.
What is the Legal Definition of Manslaughter in Mississippi?
While manslaughter falls under the general category of homicide according to Mississippi law, the penalties are not as serious as those associated with a murder conviction. If you are found guilty of manslaughter, you face a minimum fine of $500 and a minimum prison sentence of one to two years. In extreme cases, you could face up to 20 years behind bars.
There are also two different types of manslaughter that you need to be aware of:
- Voluntary manslaughter: This is when you cause the death of someone else because you were overly aggressive – usually after being provoked or acting in self-defense. For example, if someone throws a rock at you, you may be charged with voluntary manslaughter if you shoot them with a gun in self-defense.
- Involuntary manslaughter: This is when you kill someone by accident. A classic example is running over a pedestrian with your car while you were distracted by your phone.
As you might expect, the penalties for voluntary manslaughter are much more serious compared to those of involuntary manslaughter.
What is the Legal Definition of Murder in Mississippi?
Murder is purely intentional, with no room for interpretation about whether it was accidental, whether the person was acting in self-defense, or whether they were “caught up in the heat of the moment.”
Like manslaughter, murder is further divided into two categories:
- Murder: This is the premeditated killing of a person or unborn child, committed while committing a dangerous act ,or while committing a felony.
- Capital Murder: This is the most serious form of murder in Mississippi, and it involves things like killing police officers, using explosives, killing large amounts of people, or committing other egregious crimes in addition to murder.
Murder is always punishable by life in prison, while those convicted of capital murder may face the death penalty.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified attorney who can help you with this matter, look no further than Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. We can help you fight these charges in an efficient manner, and we will fight for your rights. There is no sense in accepting overly punitive consequences for your actions if you can successfully defend yourself in court. Reach out today, and we can help you do just that.