Are You Facing Second Degree Manslaughter in Washington?
If you find yourself facing a charge of second-degree manslaughter in Washington, it is important to understand the severity of these charges. Your entire future is at stake. As such, do not go through the legal process alone. You need an experienced and skilled Washington criminal defense attorney on your side from the very start. Do not speak to investigators, police officers, or prosecutors without your attorney present. This is of utmost importance. Remember, anything you say can - and will - be used against you in a court of law.
What is Manslaughter in the Second Degree?
Manslaughter is a separate crime from murder. Unlike murder, prosecutors do not have to prove that you intended to kill anyone. If you killed another person while acting criminally negligent, then you may find yourself facing serious consequences and a felony record.
The laws on manslaughter in the second degree can be found in RCW 9A.32.070. This outlines what manslaughter is and the consequences if convicted. According to Washington law, you are criminally negligent when you fail to consider the substantial risk of the actions you are taking. In addition, your actions constitute a gross deviation from the standard of care.
To obtain a conviction, the state must prove that you were aware of the substantial risk of your actions, and yet you took them anyway. It is easier for the state to obtain a conviction for second-degree manslaughter instead of first-degree manslaughter. In first-degree manslaughter, the state must also prove that you acted recklessly and caused another person’s death.
Penalties for Second Degree Manslaughter in Washington
If you are convicted of manslaughter in the second degree, you face serious penalties and consequences, including:
A Class B felony offense
Maximum of 10 years in state prison and/or
Maximum fines of $20,000
Defenses Against Second Degree Manslaughter
A skilled Washington second-degree manslaughter attorney can help you defend against these serious charges. While it isn’t easy, your attorney will challenge the prosecution’s case against you. This may mean challenging DNA samples, fingerprints, or other strong evidence.
There are many defenses your attorney can use to have the charges reduced or even dismissed. Your attorney may argue that your actions did not rise to the level of criminal negligence. This is a common defense and can be used to have the charges reduced. In some cases, your attorney may argue that the police coerced a confession from you or that they violated your rights during interrogations.
No matter how serious the charges are against you, you deserve to fight them. You also deserve a fair trial and your Washington criminal defense lawyers can ensure that happens. For this reason, it is important to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as you believe you are under investigation. From the very start, you will need an attorney on your side to protect your rights.
Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
Our Seattle criminal defense attorneys are here to help you after you’ve been arrested for manslaughter charges. We can protect your rights and build a solid case to protect your future. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Lewis & Laws, PLLC, have defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, and throughout the state of Washington. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our confidential contact form. Call us today!