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Definition of Manslaughter

Manslaughter is the killing of another person unlawfully, without premeditation or intent. The two degrees of manslaughter include voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter has the mental intent to cause the death or serious injury of another person. Voluntary manslaughter can include the following mental conditions: heat of passion, provocation, imperfect defense or mental breakdown.

Involuntary manslaughter, which is also called criminal negligent homicide, refers to unintentional killing resulting from negligence. The difference between involuntary and voluntary is the intent of the perpetrator at the time of the crime.

Some states allow for varying degrees of negligence suchas criminal negligence, gross negligence or culpable negligence.For example, failure to perform one's duties can be classified as criminally negligent manslaughter. Drivers can also be charged with intoxication manslaughter if they kill another person while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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