Manslaughter: what to do in case of accusation?

Understand, here, what is manslaughter, what is its difference from the intentional modality, as well as what your rights are if you are accused of this crime!

Manslaughter is one in which a person kills another without, however, intending to do so. In addition, this homicide occurs because of negligence, malpractice or imprudence. In this way, the person makes an avoidable mistake that leads to the death of another.

The crime of homicide is divided into several categories, among them there is manslaughter, for example.

Therefore, this type of crime is distinguished, especially, from intentional homicide both in its circumstances and in its intentions.

Thus, in culpable homicide, there is no intention to kill. In intentional homicide, on the other hand, there is the intention to kill or the person assumes the risk of doing so.

What is culpable homicide?

Manslaughter is one that occurs without the intent to kill. That is, at no time did you want someone to die or had that goal.

However, as he acted recklessly, negligently or without skill, for example, this was the result of his actions.

Thus, even if there was no objective to kill someone, you are guilty of the crime, since the mistake could have been avoided.

In addition, below, we explain the difference between these three concepts that help define what is manslaughter:


Recklessness is the performance of a dangerous act, for example, handling a loaded firearm in a place with many people.

So, in this case, it is known that the weapon can fire, even if accidentally, and hit another person.


Negligence, on the other hand, is the act of failing to do something that caution recommends.

For example, leaving a loaded firearm in a visible place where other people can access it, handle it and fire shots unintentionally.

Therefore, in this case, the situation can be characterized as manslaughter.


Malpractice is the act of performing an activity for which one does not have technical knowledge or mastery.

For example, you don’t know how to drive, but you decide to do it and end up getting involved in an accident.

What is the difference between culpable crime and intentional crime?

As has already been said, the culpable crime happens without the person having the intention of carrying it out. In turn, in intentional crime, there is the intention to practice the action.

That is, if a manslaughter is culpable, you did not intend to kill another person.

However, if the homicide is intentional, you had the intention to kill a person when you performed a certain action.

In addition, the penalties for the two types of crime may vary, and, normally, the penalty for involuntary homicide is milder than for its intentional modality.

What is the penalty for culpable homicide?

The penalty for manslaughter can range from 1 to 3 years in prison.

In addition, you can fulfill it openly, if you are not a repeat offender.

However, the penalty may increase by ⅓ in the following cases:

  • Failure to observe the technical rule of the profession: it happens, for example, in cases where trained machine operators fail to adopt the necessary safety mechanisms, causing accidents.
  • Lack of immediate help to the victim: it happens in cases where the person does not help the victim, taking time to get out of the car, for example. However, the penalty will not increase if the victim receives help from a third party, dies immediately in an obvious manner or there is a threat of lynching the person causing the death.
  • He does not seek to diminish the consequences of his actions;
  • Escape to avoid arrest red-handed. 

What happens when homicide occurs in traffic?

So, although the Penal Code deals with the crime of manslaughter, when it occurs due to an action involving a motor vehicle.

Therefore, in these cases, the penalty for manslaughter will be imprisonment from two to four years, as well as the suspension or ban on obtaining a permit or license to drive.

In addition, the penalty can be increased from ⅓ to half if the person:

  • do not have permission to drive or CNH;
  • committing manslaughter in a crosswalk or sidewalk;
  • fail to provide assistance to the victim, when it does not represent a personal risk;
  • in the exercise of the profession, is driving a vehicle for transporting people;
  • you are under the influence of alcohol or another psychoactive substance.

What is judicial pardon?

So, in some cases, manslaughter hits the person who committed it so badly that criminal consequences, such as imprisonment, become unnecessary.

Thus, in these cases, Precedent 18 of the Supreme Court of Justice is applied , which declares the extinction of punishment through judicial pardon.

However, judicial forgiveness can only be applied when there is a strong physical or emotional shock on the part of the person who committed the crime or an affective bond between the victim and the perpetrator.

What to do in case of involuntary manslaughter charge?

So, if you have been accused of manslaughter, it is imperative that you hire a lawyer who specializes in criminal law.

After all, he will know the measures to be taken to try to prevent his arrest or to seek a reduction in the sentence.

Finally, still, do you have any questions about this matter? Do you need help from a lawyer? Then contact us and talk to our legal team specializing in criminal law.

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