When a person dies at the hands of another, it is considered a homicide
in the eyes of the law. In the state of Nevada, criminal homicide charges
are divided into two categories: murder and manslaughter. While both of
these charges involve the unlawful killing of another human being, these
offenses are very different and can expose a defendant to substantially
Murder in Nevada
Murder is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being with “malice
aforethought,” or a premeditated or extremely reckless killing.
There are two different types of murder: first degree and second degree.
First degree murder is a deliberate act of killing or an unintentional
killing that occurs during the commission of a felony, such as burglary,
arson, robbery, or rape. Second degree murder, on the other hand, is an
unintentional homicide resulting from extremely reckless behavior in which
the death was a foreseeable result.
First degree murder is a category A felony in Nevada and can potentially
expose a defendant to the death penalty upon conviction, or life imprisonment
without parole. In comparison, a conviction of second degree murder can
carry possible life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after
10 years. If a deadly weapon was used to commit the murder, such as a
gun or a knife, an additional penalty of 1 to 20 years can be imposed.
Manslaughter in Nevada
Manslaughter is a killing without malice or premeditation and is charged as a lesser
crime than murder. Manslaughter can either be “voluntary”
or “involuntary” depending on the circumstances surrounding
the killing. Voluntary manslaughter is an impulsive killing that occurs
when a person is in a fragile emotional state and is unable to control
their actions. For example, a person commits voluntary manslaughter if
they were to stumble upon their spouse in bed with another lover, prompting
them to immediately kill them both in the heat of passion. Conversely,
involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing done while breaking
the law or by acting negligent, such as hitting a pedestrian while speeding.
Penalties for manslaughter in Nevada are as follows:
Voluntary manslaughter: Up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines
Involuntary manslaughter: Up to 4 years in prison and $5,000 in fines
Regardless, any sort of criminal homicide charge is an extremely serious
manner and must be handled by an experienced attorney. If you have been
charged or are even being investigated for murder or manslaughter, contact
the Law Office of David R. Fischer today. Having earned a 10.0 “Superb”
Avvo Rating and a
Super Lawyers® inclusion for our unmatched dedication and skills, our
Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys can protect your freedom and fight to level the playing field against
the prosecution’s claims.
Call (702) 866-9864 or
contact our firm online today to discuss your case in detail.