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Manslaughter vs Murder—What Are the Differences?

Killing any human being is like depriving them of their right to live. It’s a heinous crime and often the worst of what a human is capable of. Homicides have harsh legal implications and are dealt with very severely.

To understand how the laws work, you need to know the difference between manslaughter and murder. Take a look:

What is manslaughter?

The law treats manslaughter as a less severe crime than a first or second-degree murder. It carries less moral blame. Manslaughter refers to the unlawful killing that doesn’t involve malicious intent. This means that the accused didn’t intend to kill or seriously harm. Manslaughter is still a serious crime, but many argue that it involves less blameworthiness.

Manslaughter is broadly categorized as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

a.   Voluntary manslaughter

If the defendant was strongly provoked under situations where any reasonable person would get provoked and commits murder, it is called manslaughter. This usually happens when the defendant kills in the heat of passion and don’t have enough time to mollify their anger. Although the act is still intentional, the emotional context reduces the blameworthiness.


If a husband comes home and sees his wife committing adultery, he might murder the paramour in the heat of passion. In this case, the judge might consider it voluntary manslaughter.

b.   Involuntary manslaughter

A murder that takes place as a result of criminal negligence, reckless conduct, driving under the influence or lack of attention is called involuntary manslaughter.

What is murder?

In legal terminology, killing anybody with malice aforethought is called murder.

Malice is either defined implied malice or express malice. Express malice is when a person deliberately kills another person. Implied malice is when someone murders being aware that the act is dangerous to human life and results in death. The latter involves a conscious disregard for life.

Murders can be classified into degrees and are dealt with accordingly. First-degree murders involve killing vulnerable people, such as children or killing someone after having planned to kill them. These are often known as premeditated killings.

Second-degree murder is when the accused intends to kill but doesn’t have time to plan it. Second-degree murders are often treated the same way as manslaughter. The final verdict lies with the jury.

If you feel like you’ve been wrongly accused and need a chance to prove your innocence in the court, DeLaughter Bail Bonds will be glad to help. Reach out to us, and our bail bond agents will help you post bail in Indiana.

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