What is a Manslaughter Attorney?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 09 February 2020
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A manslaughter attorney is a lawyer who specializes in handling manslaughter cases. Typically, such attorneys act as criminal defense lawyers, building up a case to defend someone accused of manslaughter and facing charges in court. In some cases, a manslaughter attorney may act as a prosecutor, or work with a prosecution team to bring a more effective case to court. To work as a manslaughter attorney, it is necessary to complete law school, successfully pass the bar, and work in the area of manslaughter to acquire experience and skills for use in court.

Charges of manslaughter are brought in cases where a person kills another, but is not acting maliciously and did not intend the death. This can include cases like car accidents or killings after being provoked. Many regions distinguish between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter and a number of factors are weighed in the case including the defendant's state of mind, the specifics of the case, whether negligence was involved, and so forth.


A person accused of manslaughter is usually advised to work with a criminal defense attorney, and may specifically be referred to a manslaughter attorney. The advantage of working with an attorney who specializes in manslaughter is the years of experience the attorney brings to the case. The attorney may have defended similar cases in the past, is very familiar with the law, and may also be familiar with law enforcement practices and the judges in the area, two things that can be useful in court while presenting the defense.

Manslaughter attorneys will interview their clients to get information about the case, solicit and collect evidence to present for the defense, and start building a case on the basis of the materials gathered during research. If the prosecution offers a plea bargain or any other kind of deal, the manslaughter attorney will review the bargain and make recommendations to the client. Manslaughter attorneys can also sit in on plea negotiations, advocating for their clients and making sure that people do not give up their day in court in exchange for a potentially bad deal.

Depending on the case, the attorney's goal may be to absolve the client completely for a not-guilty verdict, or to present a defense suggesting that the only reasonable conviction would be the lowest possible option presented to the jury. This would reduce the amount of time the client will spend in jail and can also reduce fees and other penalties associated with a conviction.


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