Personal Attention, Aggressive And Accomplished Advocacy

Attorney Katherine A. Gonos
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Violent Crimes
  4.  » Understanding murder and manslaughter charges in Georgia

Understanding murder and manslaughter charges in Georgia

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2024 | Violent Crimes |

State laws generally distinguish between manslaughter and murder. Both crimes involve the loss of human life. Each term has its own definition and legal implications.

Understanding Georgia laws about murder and manslaughter can guide next steps after an arrest.

Voluntary and involuntary manslaughter

Manslaughter involves the unlawful killing of another person without premeditation or malice. Georgia law defines both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter occurs when someone causes another person’s death intentionally but without malice. They usually occur in the heat of an emotional moment.

Involuntary manslaughter results from careless behavior leading to someone’s unintended death. Examples include reckless driving or negligence with a fatal outcome.

First-degree and second-degree murder

Georgia defines murder as intentional and unlawful killing with malice aforethought. Unlike manslaughter, it requires specific intent to cause another person’s death. It may also involve planning the crime. The state had 11.4 homicides for every 100,000 residents as of 2021.

State law categorizes murder into two degrees. First-degree murder includes deliberate, premeditated killings, often with specific aggravating factors. Examples include murders committed during felonies, such as armed robbery or kidnapping.

Second-degree murder covers intentional killings without premeditation or aggravating circumstances. It may be an impulsive act or result from a reckless disregard for human life.

The legal consequences for manslaughter and murder in Georgia vary significantly. Manslaughter generally carries less severe penalties than murder. Charges depend on the circumstances of your case. The court will review possible intent and past criminal history.  These factors also influence the subsequent sentence for murder or manslaughter.