As most Connecticut residents understand, a murder charge can arise from the killing of another person. However, this area of law can be complex, especially if the one accused of the crime insists that he or she did not mean to cause the death of the other person.
A murder charge, whether in the first, second or third degree, is usually applicable when authorities have reason to believe the death was intentional. However, as FindLaw explains, a criminal charge can still apply to an accidental death, in situations where negligence or recklessness were factors. This is called manslaughter. For example, a person who was texting while driving and slammed into a vehicle that was stopped at a red light, killing the other driver, might face manslaughter charges. Although, if convicted, the first driver might go to jail, the penalties are usually much less severe than those for an intentional killing.
On the other hand, there are usually significant penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence, for first-degree manslaughter charges resulting from an intentional attack in which a person meant to harm another but did not intend to kill him or her. In a recent case reported by WTNH News, a New Haven man was recently convicted of first-degree manslaughter, after a fight in 2017 resulted in another man dying of stab wounds.
Any criminal charge stemming from a fatality is likely to be serious, regardless of the circumstances. Therefore, experienced criminal defense counsel is necessary to protect one’s freedoms and rights.