Queens County Bar Association
Martindale Hubbell - Distinguished 2023

What Has Your Experience Been in Handling Murder, Homicide and Manslaughter Cases?

We’ve represented people who are charged with many different types of homicides, ranging from criminal negligence homicide up to murder. I’ve tried 13 murder cases of my career. None of my clients have ever been convicted of murder. Several of them have been convicted of manslaughter, and several have been acquitted.

What Are The Differences Between Murder, Homicide And Manslaughter Charges?

In New York, homicides are divided into several categories. Murder is the most serious charge, and it involves causing the death of somebody intentionally. Manslaughter is the charge when there is no intent to cause death. The last charge is criminally negligent homicide, which means that you cause somebody’s death by acting in a negligent rather than a reckless manner.

Do These Charges Have Different Classifications As Well?

Murder cases have various distinctions but in reality, because all murder charges lead to a maximum of life imprisonment, the differences are not that great. Manslaughter is divided into several categories. The first is manslaughter in the first degree, which in New York is a Class B violent felony. This means it has a maximum sentence of 25 years, and a minimum of 8 years in state prison, and is charged when you have caused somebody’s death without necessarily intending to cause their death. It might be manslaughter in the first degree by causing somebody’s death with the intent to cause physical harm, but not the intent to cause death.Manslaughter of second degree generally is caused by reckless acts, such as driving an automobile while intoxicated, which would be considered a reckless form of manslaughter. The least serious charge involving homicide is called criminally negligent homicide. That is exactly what it sounds. When somebody causes somebody’s death by a negligent act, that’s a significantly less serious charge, and it’s an E felony. This means it’s punishable by a maximum of 4 years in prison, and may not have any jail time attached to it.

What Is The Difference Between Voluntary Or Involuntary Manslaughter?

Manslaughter in the first degree is generally an intentional act. It’s the same as the murder, except that it involves only intent to cause serious physical injury, or, even when the person is intending to cause death, the defendant is under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance. In other words, somebody comes home, catches his wife is in bed with somebody and gets so agitated that he kills them. That would generally be considered manslaughter rather than murder. As far as involuntary crimes, those are the less serious manslaughter charges, which generally are when somebody does something in a reckless way and recklessly causes the death of somebody. There’s no intent either to hurt them or to kill them, but somebody acts so recklessly that it causes death.

Are These Charges Generally Bondable Offenses?

Usually, there is no bail set when somebody is charged with murder. Even when bail is set, it is so high that nobody can reasonably be expected to make it. There is no law that says a person cannot be given a bail, but most judges on a murder case will either set no bail at all or so high that the person can’t make it. Manslaughter generally will have a bail set, and sometimes its low enough that the person can actually make it.

For more information on Murder, Homicide & Manslaughter Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (718) 793-5700 today.

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