California Penal Code 192
Manslaughter is a legal term for the killing of a human being, in a manner considered by law as less culpable than murder because the act was without malice. Manslaughter with malice is considered murder. This article deals specifically with CPC 192.
In California, the definition of manslaughter differentiates between levels of criminal culpability based on the state of mind of the person charged, the actions that were taken by all participants including the victim(s), and the circumstances under which the killing occurred. A judge will often invite information regarding mitigating factors such as emotion, medical status, mental health status, and other factors. In California Penal Code 192, manslaughter is broken down into three distinct categories: voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, and vehicular.
Voluntary manslaughter is distinguished from involuntary manslaughter by the presence of a sudden quarrel or argument; an act without actual planning. A defendant may have not planned to kill, but in a heat of passion, their direct actions resulted in the death of another person.
Involuntary manslaughter is charged when the defendant has committed another unlawful act (not a felony), or done something else that results in the death of others. The defendant is believed to have acted without malice aforethought (premeditation or predetermination), but may have acted without thinking.
Vehicular manslaughter is charged when the defendant is found to have caused death while driving a motor vehicle.
Proof and Evidence
The prosecution has to decide if they have enough evidence to prove whether the act of manslaughter was voluntary or involuntary. If a vehicle was involved, what are the circumstances: was there a collision, was there negligence, was alcohol or drugs a factor? The prosecution will evaluate of the defendant's state of mind at the time of the act itself. Did the defendant know the victim(s).
Factors that can modify the charges are constructive manslaughter and criminally negligent manslaughter, both of which may involve criminal liability.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a manslaughter case, please contact our offices immediately. Time is of the essence in these cases, as you need to prepare a defense strategy, including securing witness statements, obtaining photographs, retaining accident reconstruction expertise and propounding discovery.
Although manslaughter laws have changed little, a charge in Southern California will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In most communities in Orange County, arrest does not necessarily mean a conviction, however other mitigating circumstances must be fully investigated by a skilled defense.
Stull & Stull is led by Adam Stull, a former deputy district attorney. He has experience consulting with police officers and opposing counsel. He has spent considerable amount of time prosecuting misdemeanor and felony offenses involving a full range of charges. He can plan a defense and prepare your case in the best way possible, endeavoring to avoid serious penalties that can be imposed by the court.
If you are serious about obtaining a case dismissal or receiving a substantial reduction for your charges, then your next move is obtaining experienced and aggressive legal counsel that will provide you with the best possible outcome.
The Law Offices of Stull & Stull has more than 45 years of combined criminal trial experience in Orange County as well as Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Kern, Tulare, Fresno and Ventura counties. The Law Office of Stull & Stull is based in Laguna Hills, California.