Is Involuntary Manslaughter a Felony?

Causing the death of another human being is the most serious crime anyone can face. Like every other state, Nevada recognizes the specific facts of each of these cases. This means that the outcomes can have various degrees of seriousness. Ultimately, those facts determine the level of punishment.

Involuntary manslaughter is a specific charge under Nevada law where someone is suspected of unintentional involvement in the death of another person. But what is the definition of involuntary manslaughter under Nevada law? And what are the consequences of an involuntary manslaughter conviction?

De Castroverde Law Group has a great team of experienced criminal defense attorneys. They’ve put together this guide to explain the particular elements of involuntary manslaughter. Are you a suspect in the death of another? If so, contact our office immediately. We’ll provide you with the highest quality representation for such a serious matter.

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Involuntary Manslaughter Defined

court gavel and legal books - involuntary manslaughter case

Under Nevada law, involuntary manslaughter applies to a specific set of circumstances. In particular, if someone unintentionally causes the death of another human being. The state would file the charge if the death occurred due to extreme negligence or carelessness during the commission of some other crime.

Involuntary manslaughter does not apply to deaths involving vehicles. Nevada law includes a separate charge of vehicular manslaughter to cover those circumstances.

Nevada considers involuntary manslaughter a Class D felony, the lowest felony category. That’s because the elements of the offense mandate that death occurs during unintentional acts. Conviction on a Class D felony carries a prison sentence of one to four years and a fine of up to $5,000.

Differences Between Involuntary Manslaughter and Other Offenses

Like other states, Nevada has enacted several statutes for situations where one person kills another. These include voluntary manslaughter and murder. How does involuntary manslaughter compare?

Voluntary manslaughter under Nevada law involves someone killing another person without premeditation. According to the statute, the person charged with voluntary manslaughter must have experienced some “serious and highly provoking injury.” Moreover, the injury must be “sufficient to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person.” Voluntary manslaughter is a Class B felony with a prison sentence of one to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. It does not include deaths that involve vehicles.

Second-degree murder represents a broad set of circumstances. Specifically, someone unintentionally kills another while acting recklessly or carelessly. Under Nevada law, first-degree murder requires intentionality. Thus, any killing that does not fit the definition of first-degree murder is second-degree murder. In simpler terms, second-degree murder covers behavior where a reasonable person would have known that their acts could cause death or severe injury.

Nevada law categorizes second-degree murder as a Class A felony. Depending on the circumstances, you may face penalties of anywhere from 25 years to life in prison. Also, the chance of parole comes only after ten years.

First-degree murder is the most serious crime anyone can face in Nevada. This charge covers intentional and pre-meditated killings. It also covers deaths that occur during the commission of other serious felonies. These include rape, arson, and kidnapping. First-degree murder convictions carry a maximum sentence of life in prison or, in some cases, the death penalty.

Examples of Involuntary Manslaughter

Details matter to prosecutors. Especially when deciding whether to file involuntary manslaughter versus murder charges. Here are a few examples of instances that may fit the involuntary manslaughter definition:

  • Hunting accidents occur when someone mistakes movement in the wild for an animal. They then fire a fatal shot that kills another hunter.
  • Firing a gun in a random manner around a crowd of people.
  • Recklessly storing dangerous drugs that allow children access.
  • Hosting a party with alcohol that results in the death of one of the guests.
  • Making unintentional but negligent mistakes in a health care setting that cause a resident’s death.
  • Setting up a scam sale of a fake weapon resulting in real gunfire that kills a bystander.

Each case’s facts determine the level of criminal charge a defendant may face. Were you involved in an unfortunate incident that led to someone’s death? If so, you need representation immediately from an experienced criminal defense attorney.

The team at De Castroverde Law Group will evaluate the incident. We will then represent you in any criminal proceeding. It’s sometimes possible to get criminal charges over the death of another downgraded or dismissed. An attorney who understands the complicated elements of each charge is crucial to your defense.

Vehicular Manslaughter

Nevada law includes a separate charge for unintentional deaths involving vehicles. A charge of vehicular manslaughter is possible when someone causes the death of another while driving in a way that reflects simple negligence. Under Nevada law, simple negligence is failing to act as a reasonable person would in similar circumstances.

A conviction on a charge of vehicular manslaughter is a misdemeanor. In most cases, it carries a penalty of up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine. Conviction requires a one-year suspension of the person’s driver’s license. However, the state can reduce it to six months in certain circumstances.

Vehicular homicide is a charge covering circumstances that involve driving under the influence. Law enforcement can file this charge if the responsible party has three prior convictions for driving under the influence. Vehicular homicide under Nevada law is a Class A felony, which could bring a sentence of 25 years to life.

Let De Castroverde Law Group Represent You

Getting accused of causing another person’s death is a serious matter. The criminal defense attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group are ready to stand by your side. We also conveniently have offices in Las Vegas, Reno, and Oakland. Our team, including former state and federal prosecutors, will evaluate the facts of your case. We will also work with you to determine a proper defense.

Our bilingual team of attorneys and staff have experience defending clients on various criminal charges ranging from drunk driving to murder. We also have vast experience dealing with casino-related offenses. Contact us online or call us today for a consultation.

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