Were you or a family member arrested for manslaughter in West Chester, PA? If convicted, you’ll face serious prison time, financial penalties, and a lasting criminal record. Let an experienced West Chester manslaughter lawyer help you build the aggressive defense you need and deserve.
Our legal team is led by a former Chester County prosecutor with over ten years of experience handling complex criminal cases. We know the law inside and out–and are here to put our experience to work for you.
Don’t wait to start building your defense. Call our DiCindio Law, LLC law offices in West Chester, Pennsylvania, at (610) 430-3535 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our practice areas today.
How Can DiCindio Law, LLC Help if I Was Arrested for Manslaughter in West Chester, PA?
If you’re accused of killing someone, you’re facing criminal charges with harsh consequences. Prosecutors often pursue murder or homicide charges. Still, if you can prove the death was caused by criminal negligence or provocation, you may face manslaughter charges.
That doesn’t mean you should take the situation lightly. The prosecution will go to great lengths to convict–and Pennsylvania courts take manslaughter charges seriously. You’ll need an experienced West Chester criminal defense lawyer in your corner.
DiCindio Law, LLC has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars, and the 10 Best for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.
When we represent clients in cases involving violent crimes, we will:
- Conduct an investigation into your charges
- Protect your constitutional rights
- Identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Develop the strongest defense strategy possible
- Negotiate with the prosecution to have your charges reduced or case dismissed
- Advocate for a not guilty verdict at trial
Our team is led by a former prosecutor who knows how to find holes in the state’s case. To get the legal advice you deserve, call for a free consultation with an experienced West Chester criminal defense attorney today.
Overview of the Manslaughter Laws in Pennsylvania
If you’re accused of killing someone in the state of Pennsylvania, you could be charged with murder or manslaughter. Both are extremely serious crimes.
“Manslaughter” is distinguished from “murder” by the lack of planning. There are two types of manslaughter charges that you could face in Pennsylvania:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Involuntary manslaughter
If you were charged with manslaughter, it’s important to take the charge seriously. Contact an experienced West Chester manslaughter attorney at DiCindio Law, LLC to start building your strong defense strategy today.
Pennsylvania criminal laws define voluntary manslaughter as the unjustified killing of another person. Voluntary manslaughter is a first-degree felony in Pennsylvania.
You can be convicted of voluntary manslaughter if the prosecution can prove that:
- Another person provoked you, and
- You killed the person in the “heat of passion;” or
- Someone provoked you and you negligently or accidentally killed the person
The prosecution may also charge you with voluntary manslaughter if they have evidence to believe:
- You intentionally or knowingly killed someone, but
- You believed the killing was justified, and
- That belief was unreasonable
In other words, you can still be convicted of a first-degree felony even if you didn’t plan to kill someone.
You can also be charged with manslaughter if you killed someone because you were acting negligently or recklessly.
State prosecutors can charge you with involuntary manslaughter under Pennsylvania law if:
- You caused the death of another person
- Your actions were grossly negligent or reckless
- You knew, or should have known, that your actions could possibly cause someone else’s death
To convict, the prosecution must prove that your actions were reckless or amounted to gross negligence.
Your actions may be considered “reckless” if you intentionally disregarded a substantial and unjustified risk. Gross negligence refers to a reckless disregard for the safety of others. For example, if you disregarded some type of safety risk that a reasonable person would not have disregarded, you could be accused of gross negligence.
Involuntary manslaughter is typically a first-degree misdemeanor. The charges can be elevated to a second-degree felony if the victim was under the age of 12 and in your care or custody at the time of death.
What Are the Penalties for a Manslaughter Conviction in Pennsylvania?
If you’re convicted of manslaughter, the penalties can vary depending on the circumstances and the charge.
It’s possible that your punishment could include:
- First-degree misdemeanor – five years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
- Third-degree felony – seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines
- Second-degree felony – ten years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
- First-degree felony – 20 years in prison and $25,000 in fines
Like sex crimes and DUI/DWI cases, you can also face severe collateral consequences in manslaughter cases, including:
- Difficulty finding employment or housing
- Loss of professional licenses
- Loss of your right to own a firearm
- Immigration problems
- Supervised parole or probation once you’re released from prison
These consequences aren’t automatic. Our lawyers have the tools to help you build the strong defense you deserve, so call our law firm for a free case review today.
What Defenses Are Available if I’m Charged with Manslaughter in Pennsylvania?
At DiCindio Law, LLC, we believe that every client deserves the strongest defense possible. You can count on us to explore every possible defense option in your case.
Potential defense strategies could include:
- Lack of evidence to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt
- Alibi defenses, mistaken identity, and other “actual innocence” defenses
- Challenges to witness’ credibility
- Challenges to the validity of DNA or other forensic evidence
- False accusations
- You justifiably acted in self-defense
- Your constitutional rights were violated
- Your actions were not reckless or grossly negligent
If law enforcement obtained evidence illegally in your case, we can file a motion to have that evidence excluded from your case.
Contact West Chester Manslaughter Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you were arrested for manslaughter or domestic violence, it’s important to act quickly. The prosecution has already started building its case. Call an experienced West Chester manslaughter lawyer at DiCindio Law, LLC for help building your defense today.