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What Does Culpable Homicide Mean in the U.S.? | Jake Brower, Attorney At Law |Criminal Lawyer | Criminal Defense |DUI Defense Attorney |Felony Arrests |3-Strike Cases |Santa Ana, Orange County, CA


  • What Does Culpable Homicide Mean in the U.S.?

    Posted Sep 11th, 2014 By in Uncategorized With | Comments Off on What Does Culpable Homicide Mean in the U.S.?

    With the judge in the highly-publicized Oscar Pistorius trial announcing today that the former paralympic star is not guilty of murder but still faces charges of culpable homicide, we are taking a look at what the charge would mean for him and what a similar charge would mean in the U.S. Culpable homicide is equivalent to manslaughter in the U.S. The judge’s ruling today stated that Pistorius was not guilty of murder because the prosecution failed to prove that he had the intent to kill. However, the culpable homicide or manslaughter charge still remains to be decided as the judge adjourned by saying that his actions were “negligent” and “excessive”. In Pistorius’ case, he could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted but the charge has no minimum sentence. In the United States and in California, if someone is charged with manslaughter, here is what could happen:

    California state laws define three types of manslaughter: voluntary, involuntary, and vehicular. For a voluntary manslaughter charge, the prosecutor must show that the defendant committed homicide during a sudden quarrel or while in the heat of passion. The events and circumstances surrounding the homicide — the quarrel or provocation –establish a lack of malice that would otherwise result in a murder charge. The prosecutor must still show that the defendant had the intent to inflict severe bodily injury or death on the victim in order to prove voluntary manslaughter.

    Acts that qualify as provocation depend on the circumstances surrounding the homicide. Some common acts of provocation include mutual combat in which both the defendant and victim equally participated, murder of a family member, or adultery committed by the defendant’s spouse.

    If a period of time has passed between the act of provocation and the homicide, California laws provide the prosecutor with the basis for a murder charge rather than a manslaughter charge. State laws require a murder charge if the defendant had a sufficient “cooling period.” If the defendant committed the homicide after the cooling period, the prosecutor may be able to show that the defendant had enough time to premeditate or plan the killing.

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Jake Brower Criminal Defense Attorney, DUI Lawyer, Felony Arrests, 3-Strike Cases, Criminal Law, Drunk Driving Lawyer, Los Angeles, Orange, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Lake Forest, Rancho Santa Margarita,Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, Beverly Hills, Hollywood,Oceanside, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Dana Point, Seal Beach, Long Beach, 1043 Civic Center Drive West, #200, Santa Ana CA 92703