Were you recently arrested for manslaughter in Columbus, OH?
If so, the time to begin defending yourself starts now. Be smart – fight back against the state’s allegations with the help of the experienced Columbus manslaughter defense attorneys at James D. Owen, LLC.
We have decades of combined experience representing clients against the most serious criminal charges in the state of Ohio. And, we demonstrate, time and time again, that we know precisely what to do to get the best possible results. We’re ready to fight for you – all you have to do is call. Contact us today to take the first steps toward defending your future.
How Our Columbus Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You Fight Manslaughter Charges
At James D. Owen, LLC, we have a long and proud history of fighting for the people of Columbus when they need it most. Over the years, our law firm has defended clients against crimes ranging from drunk driving to murder.
When you hire us to assist you with your manslaughter case, our Columbus criminal defense attorneys will:
- Launch an independent investigation into your arrest
- Fight tirelessly to try to bail you out of jail
- Help you understand your legal options
- Provide you with sound legal advice as needed
- Devise a customized legal defense strategy for your case
- Stand up for your constitutional rights
- Answer any questions you may have about the legal process
- Search for evidence that might help your criminal case
- Negotiate a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution
- Represent you in criminal court, if necessary
Are you ready to have one of our knowledgeable defense attorneys help you fight back against your criminal charges? Then please pick up a phone and give us a call at your earliest convenience. Our legal team has years of experience in the industry and is always ready to fight for the people of Columbus.
What is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter?
Movies and television shows frequently use the terms “murder” and “manslaughter” interchangeably. However, from a legal perspective, the two words do not mean the same thing.
Murder occurs when a person kills another human being with malice aforethought – the intent to cause severe harm or death. Most states call unlawful killings that do not involve this intent manslaughter.
Whether local police have charged you with murder or manslaughter, you can count on the attorneys at James D. Owen, LLC, to assist you with your battle to clear your name. Our team has handled numerous homicide cases in the past and is ready to stand up for you.
Understanding Ohio’s Manslaughter Laws
When law enforcement officers in the state of Ohio suspect a person of killing another, they usually charge them with one of the following criminal offenses:
Section 2903.03 of the Ohio Revised Code says that it is unlawful for a person to cause the death of another human being, or their unborn baby, while under the influence of sudden passion or in a fit of rage.
When a person violates this statute, the state of Ohio can take them into custody and charge them with voluntary manslaughter.
In the Buckeye State, manslaughter is a felony of the first degree.
When Columbus police officers find someone violating this law, they can arrest them on an involuntary manslaughter charge.
If the death occurred while the offender was committing or trying to commit a felony, involuntary manslaughter is a first-degree felony. If the criminal was engaged in a misdemeanor offense when the killing happened, involuntary manslaughter is a felony of the third degree.
Section 2903.05 of the Ohio Revised Code says that it is unlawful for a person to cause the death of another human being, or their unborn baby, through the negligent use of any deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance.
The state of Ohio can charge anybody who violates this statute with reckless or negligent homicide.
Ohio courts typically classify this criminal offense as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Section 2903.06 of the Ohio Revised Code says that it is unlawful for a person to cause the death of another human being, or their unborn baby, while operating a car, truck, motorcycle, boat, or aircraft in any of the following ways:
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Recklessly or negligently in a construction zone
- In violation of a municipal ordinance
When Ohio police officers catch a person violating this statute, they may arrest them for vehicular homicide or manslaughter.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime, Ohio courts can classify vehicular manslaughter as a:
- Misdemeanor of the second degree
- Misdemeanor of the first degree
- Felony of the fourth degree
- Felony of the third degree
- Felony of the second degree, or
- Felony of the first degree
Are you currently facing one of the criminal charges outlined above? Then please do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at James D. Owen, LLC. We have a thorough understanding of Ohio law and are always ready to stand up for our neighbors in Columbus.
Consequences of Manslaughter Convictions in Ohio
When Ohio courts convict Columbus residents of manslaughter, they usually dole out lengthy jail or prison sentences and sizable fines. Of course, the exact nature of their penalties depend on the severity of their crime:
- Felonies of the First Degree: Between 3 and 11 years in state prison and a fine of as much as $20,000
- Felonies of the Second Degree: Between 2 and 8 in state prison and a fine of as much as $15,000
- Felonies of the Third Degree: Between 9 and 36 months in state prison and a fine of as much as $10,000
- Felonies of the Fourth Degree: Up to 18 months in state prison and a fine of as much as $5,000
- Felonies of the Fifth Degree: Up to 12 months in state prison and a fine of as much as $2,500
- Misdemeanors of the First Degree: Up to 180 days in county jail and a fine of as much as $1,000
- Misdemeanors of the Second Degree: Up to 90 days in county jail and a fine of as much as $750
Note, the penalties can be more severe if the defendant is a repeat offender or there are aggravating factors present.
Individuals who commit manslaughter in Ohio cannot face the death penalty. The state reserves this punishment for people it convicts of murder or aggravated murder.
Of course, if the state of Ohio finds someone guilty of manslaughter, it doesn’t just sentence them to years in prison. It also hands them a permanent criminal record – which may cause them to experience an array of collateral consequences, like:
- Difficulty Finding a Job: In Ohio, many businesses refuse to employ convicted criminals.
- Trouble Securing Housing: Property managers are sometimes hesitant to rent apartments to people with criminal records.
- Immigration Problems: The federal government frequently deports non-citizen felons after they leave state prison.
- Loss of Privacy: The friends, family, and work colleagues of convicted criminals can easily look up their records online.
- Professional Licensing Difficulties: Ohio licensing authorities often refuse to accept applications from criminals.
- Trouble Getting Student Loans: Federal policy makes it tricky for convicted criminals to obtain student loans.
- Loss of Gun Ownership Rights: Convicted felons do not have the right to purchase, use, or carry guns in Ohio.
In most instances, convicted criminals can only put an end to these consequences by having a judge seal their record.
At James D. Owen, LLC, we know how frightening the consequences of a manslaughter conviction in the state of Ohio can be. That is why we fight tirelessly every day to help our clients try to avoid them. To have us go to battle on your behalf, all you need to do is get in touch and set up a free consultation at our Columbus law office.
Defenses Against Ohio Manslaughter Charges
In most cases, the best way to prevent a manslaughter charge from turning into a conviction is with the help of a well-thought-out legal defense strategy.
A brief list of some of the most effective manslaughter defense strategies would include:
- Innocence: Attorneys who can prove that their client was elsewhere at the time of the killing can typically get their case dismissed.
- Lack of Evidence: Defense lawyers who can successfully argue that the prosecution has not met their evidentiary burden often secure not guilty verdicts for their clients.
- Self-Defense: Attorneys who show that their clients acted in self-defense frequently get their charges dropped or reduced.
The attorneys at James D. Owen, LLC, have worked on countless criminal defense cases over the years. As such, we understand the best strategies to use in any given situation. If you want to have us analyze your case and help you put together an effective defense strategy, please give us a call or contact us online.
Your Knowledgeable Manslaughter Defense Lawyer in Columbus
If the state of Ohio recently charged you with manslaughter, you can count on the legal team at James D. Owen, LLC, to help you battle to try to clear your name and avoid prison. Our team of lawyers has the industry experience and statutory knowledge necessary to deal with your case – no matter how complex it may be. Reach out to us today to set up a free consultation at our Columbus law offices.