Involuntary manslaughter is a type of homicide offense in which the intent element is lacking, so essentially what that means is for a typical homicide offense and just criminal offense generally it requires criminal intent. The intent to steal something or the intent to shoot someone, that is the intent requirement. In the event of an involuntary manslaughter type charge, that intent requirement is replaced with something along the lines of negligence or recklessness, so to give an example, if someone shoots intentionally and kills someone, that’s a murder or a manslaughter charge. However, let’s say someone is in their apartment just playing a gun and negligently discharges that gun, say through a wall or ceiling and hits and kills someone, they certainly did not have the intent to commit the crime, however they did still kill someone. So in that circumstance something like an involuntary manslaughter charge is probably more appropriate because it wasn’t the intent to commit the homicide. It was simply the negligent behavior that ultimately led to the death.
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