Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter - Florida Statute 782.07 and 777.04

Murder and Manslaughter

Florida Statute 782.07 prohibits anyone from committing manslaughter which is when a defendant commits, obtains, or is negligently culpable in an act that kills someone. Even if the individual did not kill someone, Florida Statute 777.04 prohibits anyone from attempting manslaughter.

Manslaughter is in the family of crimes classified as homicides (death of a human). There are different degrees of homicide ranging from the most serious (first-degree murder) to the least serious (manslaughter). Attempted voluntary manslaughter is a third-degree felony. It is imperative that you contact one of our West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys to help you if you have been charged with this crime.

Definition of Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter

Attempted voluntary manslaughter is where the defendant committed, obtained, or was negligently culpable in an act that would have killed the victim but someone stopped the death or the defendant’s actions failed to kill the victim.

For the defendant to be convicted of the crime of attempted voluntary manslaughter on the victim, the state prosecutor must prove:

(1) The victim would have died; and

(2) The defendant Either:

  1. Intentionally completed the acts that would have led to the death;
  2. Intentionally obtained as act that would have led to the death; or
  3. Was culpably negligent which would have caused the victim’s death.

The defendant cannot be charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter if his actions were only negligent. The defendant’s negligence has to be the higher level of negligence called culpable negligence. Negligence is where the person “goof’s up” by not acting the way normal people would act. Culpable negligence is more than a “woops,” but an “I don’t care” about other people’s safety.

Also, the defendant cannot be charged with manslaughter if the potential killing was excusable or justifiable. Attempted voluntary manslaughter is excusable if the act was an accident which is defined as not illegal in any way, without any illegal intent, and with everyday carefulness. See Florida Statute 782.03 Attempted voluntary manslaughter is also justified if the defendant was trying to prevent his own murder or preventing the so called “victim” from completing a felony upon the defendant. See Florida Statute 782.02. If the defendant willingly abandoned or somehow prevented the killing from happening, the defendant has a defense to the attempted voluntary manslaughter charge.

The defendant does not have to have the intent to kill the victim. The prosecutor just has to prove that the defendant intended the act which would have caused the inexcusable and unjustifiable death.

Punishment for Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter

Attempted voluntary manslaughter is a third-degree felony which has a maximum punishment of 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Contact the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.

If you have been arrested and charged with attempted voluntary manslaughter in the Palm Beach County or the Broward County area, it is extremely important that you contact a criminal attorney at our firm to discuss your defense options.

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