Phoenix Manslaughter Defense Attorney
Under Arizona law, there are several homicide charges ranging in severity: manslaughter is the lowest possible homicide charge while first-degree murder is the highest. Despite being the lowest charge, a conviction for manslaughter can result in a lengthy prison sentence and significant fines. Even if you’re acquitted or the charges are dropped, the stigma associated with such an accusation may affect you for the rest of your life if not handled correctly. When it comes to protecting your future, you need legal counsel with unmatched experience, knowledge, and a vigorous work ethic to fight on your behalf.
With more than 40 years of combined experience defending the most serious of crimes in Phoenix, the lawyers at the Blischak Law Firm have the knowledge and skill necessary to protect your future. In addition to providing exceptional criminal defense representation over our cumulative four decades, we also have a thorough understanding of how prosecutors and the police operate.
Attorney John W. Blischak spent nine years as an FBI agent before serving as a prosecutor in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. Additionally, attorney Andrew J. Blischak had a tenure with the Mesa Prosecutor’s Office. As a result of our knowledge, we provide you with a defense that stays a step ahead of the prosecution. If you have been accused or charged with manslaughter, we are here to defend you.
Being Charged with Manslaughter in Arizona
To be charged with manslaughter, a person must have grossly deviated from a certain standard of conduct expected of them. The most common situations in which manslaughter charges are brought are:
- Intentionally killing another in a “crime of passion” –A crime of passion occurs when an individual acts out of sudden emotion and had not premeditated the crime. Becoming enraged due to the act of another and resultantly killing that person may constitute manslaughter.
- Intentionally assisting the suicide of another person — Assisting another in a suicide constitutes manslaughter under Arizona law regardless of the reasoning or person’s background.
- Intentionally killing another while under coercion — Coercion is the threat or use of deadly force to get another to commit an act that a reasonable person would be unable to resist. A person who kills another while being threatened with deadly force constitute manslaughter.
- Unintentionally killing another through recklessness — Reckless action involves a gross deviation from normal standard of conduct (e.g. killing another while driving double the speed limit).
- Causing the death of an unborn child by injuring the mother — Although certain exceptions apply for medical professionals, a person who assaults a pregnant woman causing the death of the unborn child could constitute manslaughter.
What are the Penalties for Manslaughter in Arizona?
Under Arizona law, manslaughter is a class 2 felony that may result in probation and fines, and even lengthy prison sentences. As a class 2 felony, the penalties vary and heavily depend on the specific circumstances of the charge, such as whether the person convicted had any prior felonies or used a deadly weapon. If convicted of manslaughter, a person will likely face a prison sentence of at least three years.
Sentencing is heavily fact specific. Sentencing for a class 2 felony begins with a presumptive sentence of five years. The presumptive sentence is the statutorily provided sentence which may be adjusted based on the specific circumstances. The defense or prosecutor can pursue a mitigated sentence as low as three years based on certain mitigating factors such as the defendant’s cooperation with the prosecution, the defendant’s age, and the defendant’s minor role in the criminal activity. Alternatively, the prosecution can pursue a sentence of up to twelve and one-half years based on certain aggravating factors such as recruiting an accomplice, the physical or mental state of the victim including age or a physical handicap, and what is considered to be a “cruel or heinous” crime.
The range of sentencing can be intimidating, which is why experienced counsel is exceptionally important. Even in an “open and shut” case for the prosecution, the attorneys at the Blischak Law Firm will work tirelessly to fight for an acquittal, and in the worst-case scenario of a conviction, will fight get you a mitigated sentence. Our experience and understanding of the prosecution’s strategies and tactics can be the difference between you walking away with an acquittal and spending twelve years in prison. We are here to help you protect your freedom.
How will the Blischak Law Firm Protect You?
At the Blischak Law Firm, we utilize our combined experience, knowledge, and skills to provide you with the best representation possible. Prosecutors are usually overzealous in their pursuit of homicide charges, which is why you need someone who understands how they operate. In many situations, the police or prosecution may violate your rights through illegal searches or attempting to include inadmissible evidence in court. By identifying such acts, we can keep evidence important to the prosecution out of the courtroom.
We will meticulously comb through all of the facts of your case to determine whether any defenses may be raised, such as insanity, impairment, or self-defense. Our experience with these defenses allows us to best protect your rights and future in a seemingly insurmountable case.
Being charged with manslaughter is terrifying, especially if you do not have experience with the legal system. We understand this, and are here to help by zealously representing your rights. Please contact our office today for a free consultation.