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What Is the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter?

What Are Legal Differences Between Murder and Manslaughter?

The legal differences between murder and manslaughter in Florida can be challenging to understand. However, the State of Florida has standards that differentiate the legal differences between the two. Florida laws regarding homicide state that it is the “unlawful killing of a human being.”

If you are unsure you understand the legal differences between murder and manslaughter, contact our law offices and ask to schedule a consultation with our Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, who can answer your questions.

What Are the Different Types of Homicide Charges in Florida?

Florida laws regarding homicide state that all crimes that result in an individual’s death are classified as “homicide.” There are four distinct homicide charges, which include;

First-Degree Murder

A homicide is classed as a first-degree murder when the killing of another was carried out with intent and planning. The planning of the crime is often referred to as premeditation.

Second-Degree Murder

Second-degree murder is a killing that results from any act unavoidably dangerous or without premeditation to cause the death of another.

Third-Degree Murder

Third-degree murder occurs when an individual is unintentionally killed during the commission of a felony. Some of the felonies that qualify as an aggravating factor include:

  • Burglary
  • Aggravated fleeing to elude.
  • Carjacking
  • Aggravated child abuse


Florida laws defining manslaughter state that it is the “killing of a human being by the act or culpable negligence of another” without any legal justification.

What is the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter?

It can often be challenging to understand the differences between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter. However, it is essential to identify the differences.

Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is considered less serious than a murder charge in Florida. Even though Voluntary manslaughter still involves causing the death of another, it is not premeditated but typically occurs in the “heat of passion.”

Involuntary Manslaughter

In most instances, involuntary manslaughter charges may be brought against a defendant who causes the intentional death of another due to negligence. However, an individual may also be charged with involuntary manslaughter if they commit a misdemeanor crime or drive under the influence (DUI) that results in death.

A Highly Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Who Can Fight to Protect Your Freedom

Suppose you have been charged with murder or manslaughter. In that case, you must hire a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer in Florida who can provide aggressive legal representation to help you protect your rights and freedom.

The Weldon Law Group, PLLC, of Jacksonville, FL, at (904) 204-3420 and ask to schedule a consultation so that we can answer your questions and determine the available legal options.