Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in North Carolina

Some states in the United States have different iterations of laws compared to the rest of the country. This is the same case with North Carolina, and one of these crimes is about manslaughter.

A manslaughter is generally defined as a killing of someone that was not premeditated, therefore this is more or less the cause of an accident. Involuntary manslaughter is commonly defined as the unintentional killing of another person due to recklessness, also called criminal negligence.

While some states may charge drunk drivers with involuntary manslaughter, North Carolina has a separate vehicular manslaughter law for these cases. In North Carolina, involuntary manslaughter involves cases that are a result of self-defense, actual innocence and accidental death.

Elements of Involuntary Manslaughter

An involuntary manslaughter is a Class F felony, this means anyone charged of this may have to stay for 13 to 16 months in prison. A person can be guilty of involuntary manslaughter if he or she:

(1) kills

(2) another living human being

(3) by an unlawful act that does not amount to a felony and is not ordinarily dangerous to life, or by a culpably negligent act or omission.

Defense for Involuntary Manslaughter

However, there are also defenses that exist for those about to be charged with involuntary manslaughter. These are of course better be assessed with the help of a legal expert. However, some people may use self defense, actual innocence, or accidental death (without negligence) as other causes.

Some deadly accidents may occur because of someone’s negligence. However, one can be blameless if the accident in itself is not because of the person’s recklessness, or if the person was not reckless in the first place.

Civil Penalties Regarding Manslaughter

However, even if a person was acquitted after an involuntary manslaughter charge, the deceased’s family may file a wrongful death claim in civil court.

These wrongful death lawsuits normally follow the wake of criminal trials. They may use similar evidence but with lower standards of proof. However, if someone was found liable for the wrongful death, they may still be able to be convicted of the crime associated with that death.

Those who would like to know more about the specifics of crimes in North Carolina may contact lawyers and legal experts from nearby courts for consultations.