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In law, the offence of manslaughter differs from murder. It’s defined as being murder but without premeditation. It’s judged based on how 'culpable' or blameworthy the person is deemed to be, their intention at the time of the killing and whether they raise a defence.

There are two classifications of manslaughter, which are:

Voluntary manslaughter – this is when the offender has the intent to kill or to cause serious bodily harm. It is only used under two circumstances – where there is a loss of control or reduced mental capacity. Without either these two circumstances, the crime will be classified as murder.

Involuntary manslaughter – this is when the offender is responsible for the murder of the person, but there was no motive or intent. For example, vehicular manslaughter happens when the defendant causes death through dangerous driving, gross negligence, reckless driving, drunk or drug driving or speeding.

Although it may not be considered to be as serious as murder, manslaughter is still considered to be a grave offence.

Taking on a lawyer who is not only competent but who has both experience and expertise in defending manslaughter cases is vital. The lawyer will need to provide you with legal advice and support from day one through to the end of any potential court case.

Of course, it’s frightening to find out that you’re part of a police investigation into a manslaughter charge. In most cases, you will already be under stress about the event that happened to have put you into this situation in the first place.

The best way you can protect yourself against being found guilty and gaining a conviction is to make contact with a good lawyer who has already defended others in manslaughter cases that are similar to yours. Depending on what your situation is, there is sometimes a way for the lawyer to find a way to get the court case dismissed.

Have you been charged or arrested with manslaughter? 

Being charged or arrested for any crime is an experience that none of us wants to go through. It can bring about feelings of anxiety, worry, stress and concerns about what will happen to your dependents were you to receive a prison sentence.

To provide you with some extra information about the manslaughter offence and potential outcomes, we have posted some of the most common questions along with their answers. If you cannot see information on what you need to know here, then get in contact with us on 0208 888 5225 or use our contact form and we can provide you with an answer.

We aim to give you guidance and support; however, we can throughout this time.

What is manslaughter?

Manslaughter is a defined as an offence that can occur when a person doesn’t intend to kill a person, but as a results of their actions, somebody does die. For example, street fighting that goes wrong, fights in gangland that involve firearms or robberies that have taken a wrong turn and resulted in death.

What happens in a case of manslaughter?

Being under investigation any crime, including the offence of manslaughter can be very worrying. There’s going to be feelings of nervousness, stress and anxiety as those involved worry about what the outcome might be of the related court case. Anxiety about the future of dependents and how they will manage without the primary income will also be part of the concern.

Those who find themselves facing charges of this nature are advised to immediately speak with a lawyer who has knowledge and experience of defending others in this position.

The Crown Court is the typical venue for manslaughter trials. A judge and jury will be in the courtroom and will determine the guilt and penalty to be given to the offender.

The judge and jury will most likely need to examine a lot of evidence. There will be forensic findings and evidence collected by Scene of Crime Officers (SOCOs). For example, typical evidence includes fingerprints, blood splatters, footprints, DNA deposits and more. These pieces of evidence are critical in deciding what happened and who was involved.

The police will typically check your communication devices to find any messages, phone call information, and other communication to understand what happened.

The circumstances behind every offence are unique. The one thing that brings every crime together in the same ‘bucket’ is that being able to speak with a solicitor who can guide you to a more favourable outcome will help to alleviate some of the concern you’re likely to be feeling.

Have you been wrongly accused of Manslaughter?  

There are some situations where people are wrongly accused of being involved in a manslaughter case. If this is where you currently find yourself, then you must speak with a legal professional as they may be able to get your case dismissed before it progresses further.

If you’ve been falsely accused, you must get legal help. You don’t want the case to reach the point where you will need to attend court and risk being convicted of a crime you didn’t do.

The police are well known for some of the tactics they use to gain convictions. For examples, they may accuse somebody of being involved in a manslaughter case when they weren’t even involved. On occasion, the accusation will be related to a mud throwing exercise to uncover who was involved in the crime and what happened.

Find out more about evidence with a lawyer

Being invited to the police station for a chat (or being arrested) is part of the course when involved in a criminal investigation.

For some, this can be a dreadful experience that ends in being charged for a crime. For others, it’s an opportunity to uncover why the police are accusing you and understanding what evidence they have on you.

A favoured tactic often used by the police is the one where they withhold evidence from you until they find it beneficial to expose. The hope is that they can trip you up. They want you to incriminate yourself as you won’t know all that they know. By taking a lawyer to the police station with you, you can bring

Hire a lawyer as soon as you can

There’s no doubt that attending a police interview without a competent criminal solicitor by your side can potentially put you into deeper water than you may already be.

You’ll be faced with a collection of questions that are designed to put you under pressure. It’s likely to be an experience that you find upsetting and worrying. The police will work hard to get you to say something that puts you in a worse place than you may already be.

Without the support of a good lawyer, you could be charged with manslaughter at the end of the interview.

Can the police search my home?

As part of their investigation into the manslaughter offence, there will be a desire by the police to find as much evidence as they can that will tie you to the crime. To do this, they will request a search warrant to be issued so that they can search your home, your vehicle and possibly your workplace. The search will include your communication devices such as your computer, phone and tablet. They may also want to go through your paperwork, including phone bills and bank statements.

Can you go to prison for manslaughter?

There is a chance that you’ll be imprisoned for your involvement in a manslaughter case, in particular, if you’re found guilty and convicted in the courts.

Your prison sentence could be as long as anywhere between two years and ten years or even life imprisonment. In rare cases, there could be a suspended term of imprisonment given when the convicted will have to comply with the conditions set by the court.

You must engage a criminal solicitor or a manslaughter lawyer who handles manslaughter cases regularly.

What type of sentence could you get for manslaughter?

As stated above, manslaughter is one of the most severe offences in law. If convicted, you may be handed any length of a prison sentence, depending on what happened. In rare occasions, you may get a suspended sentence.

Those who are awarded life sentences, a tariff will be set by the judge. This means that there will be an assignment of the minimum amount of time that must be served prior to being released on parole. When somebody is released on parole, they are set free but must live under conditions as set by the Parole Board.

Typically heard in a Crown Court, a manslaughter trial has a Judge and Jury. If you’re found guilty and convicted, you will be given the penalty.

Read more about sentencing for Manslaughter offences

What factors are likely to be considered in sentencing?

Manslaughter cases can be very complicated. There needs to be decisions made on how culpable the defendant is in addition to whether it was voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.

Read more about potential defences for Manslaughter offences.

Read more about potential defences for Corporate Manslaughter offences.

Will you get a criminal record for manslaughter?

If your manslaughter progresses to court, and you are found guilty and convicted, you will be given a permanent criminal record.

How can Stuart Miller Solicitors help?

After three decades of successfully defending cases of manslaughter and murder, Stuart Miller Solicitors has in-depth knowledge of what is involved and how the intervention of a skilled lawyer can positively influence a situation.

Our legal team have some of the best legal minds in the industry, and having those applied to your case can make all the difference. Stuart Miller Solicitors can be depended upon and trusted to provide you with the legal support and guidance that you need at a time like this.

Speak to us for free about your manslaughter case

Call us today on 0208 888 5225, and you can discuss your manslaughter case with us for 30 minutes. We are here to help and happy to give you legal advice to support you in this time of need. It’s also a chance to get to know us and whether you feel we are the right people to provide you with legal support.

What will happen when I instruct a lawyer?

When you contact us, one of our legal team will take on the case. Over the following period, they will work with experienced colleagues and partners who can contribute to the defence strategy.

We are proud of the success of our lawyer. Not only are they proactive in their defence, but they have the vigour and dedication required to ensure that any manslaughter case that we take on gets the full attention of us all.

Call us about your case

We invite you to call us to discuss your situation. We offer a 30-minute consultation during which you can explain to us what happened, where you are in the case and what you’re hoping we can do for you. We prefer to take on matters in their earliest days rather than more mature cases as we feel these are the ones that we can influence the most.

Please get in touch with us today to discuss your manslaughter case. We can meet with you face to face, by telephone or video. Or you can always get in touch via WhatsApp from the link below.


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