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Manslaughter under Michigan law is divided into voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

What is the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter?

Voluntary manslaughter is very similar to 2nd degree murder and could be considered 2nd degree murder’s lesser charge. A defendant will be guilty of voluntary manslaughter if the defendant committed an act causing the death of the victim and defendant was in one of these states of minds: defendant had the intent to kill, intent to do great bodily harm, or knowingly created a high risk of death or great bodily harm knowing death or such harm would be a likely result of their action.

Involuntary manslaughter is what in the criminal world would be called an accidental killing. Involuntary manslaughter is when a defendant committed an act causing the death of the victim based upon the defendant acting in a gross negligent manner or in doing the act caused the victim’s death with only the intention to injure the victim.

Both voluntary and involuntary manslaughter carries the same penalty of imprisonment for not more than 15 years, a fine of not more than $7,500, or both.

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