Have you been arrested on manslaughter charges in Dayton, OH? If so, you need a skilled Dayton criminal defense attorney to defend you against the charges. A strong defense is the best way to protect your rights to ensure you are treated fairly by the criminal justice system.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC we have a former prosecutor and former police officer on our legal team. They use the knowledge and experience they gained working on the other side to benefit our clients. Our lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience handling criminal law cases.
We understand you may be frightened, and this seems like a nightmare right now. With the help of an experienced Dayton manslaughter lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC, you might be able to avoid a conviction and punishment.
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How Our Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help if You’ve Been Charged with Manslaughter in Ohio
Our top-rated criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC fight to protect individuals charged with manslaughter and other crimes. We have a track record of proven success in the criminal cases our law firm handles. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated fairly by the criminal justice system, and they deserve an effective and competent attorney to defend them.
We are nationally recognized for our legal services and commitment to our clients. Our attorneys have a 10.0 rating with Avvo and have been recognized among the best criminal defense attorneys in Dayton by Expertise.com. We are high-rated by Super Lawyers and regularly appear on the Top 100 list by The National Trial Lawyers.
When you hire our award-winning legal team to represent you, we will:
- Investigate the criminal charges against you to gather our own evidence
- Analyze the evidence against you to identify weaknesses or problems
- Explain your legal options and devise an effective defense strategy
- Negotiate on your behalf with the prosecutor to reduce your charges and lessen the sentence through a favorable plea bargain
- Take the case to trial and aggressively advocate for you if it’s in your best interest
We are available to take your call 24/7. Call now to request a free case evaluation with an experienced manslaughter defense lawyer in Dayton, Ohio.
Are Manslaughter and Murder the Same Thing in Dayton, OH?
Many people use the terms manslaughter, homicide, and murder interchangeably to describe taking another person’s life. However, they are different criminal charges under Ohio law.
Generally, to murder someone, you must have malice aforethought. That requires you to act with the intent to kill someone or cause a person harm.
However, manslaughter does not require malice aforethought. Instead, you can be charged with manslaughter and convicted even if you did not mean to kill someone.
Therefore, it is crucial that you seek legal advice immediately if you are charged with manslaughter. You could be convicted for a crime that was an accident and not within your control. Let our Dayton manslaughter attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC review your case for free.
Overview of Manslaughter Laws in Ohio
There are three primary criminal manslaughter offenses you could be charged with if you caused the death of another person. Those charges are:
Vehicular Manslaughter Charges
Ohio Revised Code §2903.06 describes the crimes of vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and aggravated vehicular homicide. A driver can be charged with vehicular manslaughter if they cause someone’s death or the death of an unborn child while committing a misdemeanor traffic violation.
Generally, you are charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for vehicular manslaughter. However, the charge may be increased if you are driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license or if there are aggravating factors involved in the accident.
Involuntary Manslaughter Charges
Ohio Revised Code §2903.04 defines the criminal offense of voluntary manslaughter as:
- Knowingly taking someone’s life or the life of their unborn child;
- While in a sudden fit of rage or experiencing sudden passion;
- That is caused by serious provocation by the victim; and,
- It would be reasonably sufficient for a person to use deadly force.
Even though it is “involuntary” manslaughter and you are in a fit of rage or passion because of the victim’s actions, charges of involuntary manslaughter are serious.
The state usually charges the crime as a first-degree felony if you committed a felony offense when you killed someone. However, if your underlying offense is a misdemeanor, the state could charge you with a third-degree felony.
Voluntary Manslaughter Charges
Ohio Revised Code §2903.03 defines the crime of voluntary manslaughter as knowingly taking someone’s life or the life of an unborn child during a sudden fit of rage or passion. Voluntary manslaughter is often used when a person kills someone during an argument or a fight. The charge for voluntary manslaughter is almost always a first-degree felony.
What Are the Criminal Penalties for a Manslaughter Conviction in Dayton, OH?
The punishments for a manslaughter conviction depend on the charges. In addition to having a permanent criminal record, the potential penalties you face for a manslaughter conviction are:
Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter
The penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge are:
- A maximum fine of $750
- County jail sentence of up to 90 days
- Driver’s license suspension for six months to three years
If you are charged with first-degree misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, the maximum time in jail doubles to 180 days, and the maximum fine increases to $1,000.
Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter
The potential punishments for a first-degree felony conviction of involuntary manslaughter are:
- A maximum fine of $20,000
- A prison sentence between three and 11 years
The judge could order other penalties, such as restitution and felony probation.
If the crime is charged as a third-degree felony, you could face nine to 36 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Penalties for Voluntary Manslaughter
The penalties for a felony conviction of voluntary manslaughter are the same as first-degree involuntary manslaughter (i.e., a $20,000 fine and prison sentence of 3 to 11 years).
Potential Defenses to Dayton Manslaughter Charges
The defenses you might use in a manslaughter case depend on the circumstances surrounding your charges.
However, potential defenses for manslaughter charges could include:
- You were acting in self-defense of yourself or another person
- You did not intend to kill someone when charged with voluntary manslaughter
- There is insufficient evidence to prove the required legal elements for the criminal offense
- You lacked the mental capacity to understand your actions
- There is evidence proving you are innocent of the charges, such as witness testimony, forensic evidence, an alibi, or video of the incident
- There is no underlying crime committed
- Violations of your constitutional rights
Our Dayton manslaughter defense lawyers will explore all potential defenses for your case. We’ll thoroughly investigate the charges to determine the best strategy to use to fight the charges.
If going to trial is not the best option, we will use the evidence and information we gather to negotiate the most favorable terms for a plea deal possible. We will use mitigating factors and other arguments to argue that you should receive a lesser sentence and/or reduced charges for pleading guilty.
What Should I Do if I’m Arrested for Manslaughter in Dayton, Ohio?
Do not resist arrest. You may be innocent of the charges, but resisting arrest can inflame the situation and result in additional criminal charges. Instead, go to the police station for processing, but do not answer questions or make a statement without a lawyer present.
You will not talk your way out of criminal charges. The police will keep you talking for as long as possible to obtain evidence that could be used against you at trial.
Exercise your right to remain silent except for asking for an attorney. Call or have someone call our office as soon as possible to speak with one of our Dayton manslaughter defense attorneys.
We will work with you to determine if you can be released pending trial. It depends on the charges, the facts of the case, your criminal history, and other factors whether a judge might release you on bail.
Try to remember everything you can about the incident to tell your attorney. However, do not write anything down while you are in jail or discuss the details on phone calls or during visits with family members. You do not have any privacy in jail.
If you are released, do not try to contact the family members of the person who died. Do not post anything online or on social media. Instead, focus on working on your defense with your lawyer and following your attorney’s instructions to avoid making mistakes that could hurt your case.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Dayton Manslaughter Lawyers
You don’t have to face this battle alone. Let our team of experienced criminal defense professionals fight to keep you out of jail. Call us for a free case review with an experienced Dayton manslaughter attorney.