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Posted: April 20, 2017

Whether someone is murdered after years of planning or someone dies by accident, the similarity between murder andmanslaughter is that an individual is killed. However, there is a significant difference between these two types of violent crimes.

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 Firmand request a free case evaluation today.

Categories: Criminal Defense