Involuntary manslaughter occurs when someone dies due to another person’s wanton or reckless behavior. This criminal offense consists of unlawful and unintentional killing. Although the burden of proof rests with the prosecution and no statutory crime of involuntary manslaughter exists in Massachusetts. However, as the defendant, you still risk severe penalties in the event of a conviction.
Understanding what constitutes involuntary manslaughter in Massachusetts shows what is at stake for you if you face this type of accusation. Working with a trusted criminal defense attorney plays a central role in building a strong defense and advocating for your rights.
Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter in MA
In Massachusetts, the penalty for a manslaughter conviction can be incarceration for up to 20 years in state prison. Even in the case of involuntary manslaughter, a judge may use this option to determine your sentence.
A criminal record for voluntary manslaughter can also negatively impact your professional, financial, and housing opportunities. It also damages your reputation and can affect your child custody privileges.
How Can the Prosecution Prove Involuntary Manslaughter?
To convict someone of involuntary manslaughter in Massachusetts, the prosecution must establish the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant caused the victim’s death
- They intended the behavior that resulted in the victim’s death
- Their conduct was reckless or wanton
If evidence of self-defense or defense of someone else exists, the prosecution must also demonstrate that the defendant did not appropriately engage in self-defense or defense of another person.
Reckless or wanton conduct is intentional and has a high probability of resulting in significant harm to another individual. The law does not require the prosecution to prove that the defendant meant to cause the victim’s death.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
If you get accused of involuntary manslaughter, the first thing you should do is hire a reputable criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and future. Given the complexity of the law and how the prosecution can use what you say against you, you should not attempt to defend yourself. You need a qualified professional who understands state and possibly federal law to ensure that you receive due process.
Your attorney can be present during the questioning to help you avoid giving answers that may incriminate you. With more than 30 years of legal experience, including as a federal prosecutor, Brad Bailey has an impressive track record as a criminal defense attorney. You can expect honest and open communication at every step of the process, and we can answer any questions you may have.
Given the potential consequences of a conviction for involuntary manslaughter, you want to have a renowned and aggressive criminal defense lawyer to support you throughout the legal process. We are ready to fight for your rights and conduct our own investigation to obtain a dismissal or reduction of charges.
Are you facing charges of involuntary manslaughter in the greater Boston area? Call Brad Bailey Law today at (617) 500-0252 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation for personalized criminal defense