In the state of Georgia, the term “homicide” covers all cases of the unlawful killing of another person. Not every incident in this category is murder. Manslaughter is a less severe charge, and generally covers many more cases. Regardless of whether you are charged with murder or manslaughter in Atlanta, a conviction can ruin your life. When you are released from prison, you may find it hard to gain employment, find housing and lead a prosperous life in general. As such, you need an experienced manslaughter attorney representing you. The lawyers at Hawkins Spizman Fortas have many decades of combined experience successfully defending clients in such cases.
The line between murder and manslaughter is razor-thin in Georgia. But that line makes all the difference when it comes to the punishments for each crime. Within manslaughter itself, there are two distinct classifications.
Involuntary and Voluntary Manslaughter
Involuntary manslaughter is defined by Georgia Code 16-5-3. If a person is committing an unlawful act other than a felony, and unintentionally kills another human being, they have committed involuntary manslaughter. In such an instance, the punishment is 1 to 10 years in prison. If a person, in the act of committing a lawful act in an unlawful manner, kills another person unintentionally, this is also considered involuntary manslaughter. In these cases, the perpetrator would be tried for a misdemeanor, punishable by a $1,000 fine and/or up to 12 months in jail.
Voluntary manslaughter is a bit more complex, and much closer to murder than involuntary manslaughter. Essentially, voluntary manslaughter is murder without premeditation, according to Georgia Code 16-5-2. If the perpetrator acts out of sudden, irresistible and violent passion, such as if they were provoked to act, they may be charged with voluntary manslaughter. However, if there is proof that enough time passed between provocation and action for the perpetrator to consider their actions and for “the voice of reason and humanity to be heard,” the act may be considered one of revenge, and thus would be murder.
The punishment for voluntary manslaughter is imprisonment for 1 to 20 years.
Call an Atlanta Manslaughter Attorney Today
If you have killed someone in the state of Georgia, regardless of the situation, you will be arrested. When you are, police officers and investigators will question you and try to get you to admit to a crime, whether you committed it or not. Don’t face that alone. You have the right to an attorney; use it. If you are charged with manslaughter in Atlanta, call Hawkins Spizman Fortas at 770-651-0166 before you say a word to the police. After a free case evaluation, we can represent you in the interrogation room and in the courtroom. Call now to speak with a manslaughter attorney.