Whether someone is murdered after years of planning or someone dies by
accident, the similarity between murder and
manslaughter is that an individual is killed. However, there is a significant difference
between these two types of
Murder is defined as using violent means to deprive another human being
of life with malicious intent, while manslaughter refers to taking the
life of another human being without malice. The most important distinction
between homicide and manslaughter is the intention in the mind of the
killer. Homicide is the successful attempt to kill someone whereas manslaughter
is someone else’s death caused by negligence or recklessness.
There are mainly two types of murder charges: first-degree murder and second-degree
murder. First-degree murder refers to any homicide that was premeditated,
while second-degree murder refers to death which occurs when the original
intent was to inflict bodily harm on the victim. In Missouri, murder in
the first degree is a Class A felony, which is punishable by death or
life in prison without eligibility for parole or probation. Murder in
the second degree is a Class A felony as well, but punishable by a prison
sentence between 10 and 30 years or life in prison.
Manslaughter also has two different categories: voluntary manslaughter
and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter is often called a
“heat of passion” crime, occurring when a person is strongly
provoked and kills another individual in the heat of passion aroused by
that provocation. On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter often refers
to unintentional homicide from criminally negligent or reckless conduct
through the commission of a misdemeanor. Voluntary manslaughter is considered
a Class B felony in Missouri, punishable by a prison sentence ranging
from five to 15 years. Involuntary manslaughter is categorized as a Class
D felony, punishable by a maximum prison sentence of four years.
If you are accused of murder or manslaughter in Missouri,
contact our Springfield criminal defense attorney at
Worsham Law Firm and request a
free case evaluation today.