In New York, homicide is the killing of a human being. When a homicide isn’t justified or excused, it is considered a crime such as murder. Another type of unjustified homicide is called manslaughter. Manslaughter can be involuntary or voluntary. Murder in the second degree is an involuntary homicide charge.
Murder in the second degree means a person’s behavior was so reckless that they caused another individual’s death. One example of murder in the second degree is when a person conducts an unjustified abortion of a woman and she dies. New York also has another type of second-degree manslaughter. This is outlined in 125.21 of the New York’s Penal Code. It is called aggravated manslaughter in the second degree.
What is Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree?
Aggravated manslaughter in the second degree occurs when a person’s recklessly causes the death of a peace officer or police officer while they are on duty. According to state law, the accused must know or should have known that the alleged victim was a peace officer or police officer.
The term “reckless” means that an individual was aware or should have been aware their unjustified and substantial risk would occur in the officer’s death. New York prosecutors determine whether the person’s behavior rose to the level of recklessness is by using the reasonable person standard. The reasonable person standard means that another individual in the same and or similar circumstances would not have behaved in a way that deviated from standard conduct.
For example, a reasonable person would have known the alleged victim was a peace officer or police officer. Thus, they would not have acted with a reckless disregard for human life. When a person’s actions in the death of the officer are compared with a reasonable person standard, their actions may be considered reckless. If it considered reckless, then they may be charged with aggravated manslaughter in the second degree.
The Punishment for New York Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree
Aggravated manslaughter in the second degree is a Class C felony in New York. Any type of felony means time in state prison. If a person is convicted of the aggravated second-degree manslaughter, the punishment is seven to 20 years in prison. They may have to pay a $5,000 fine too.
Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree Defenses
A person accused of manslaughter has many defenses available to do to fight the charge. It’s important to note that New York prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt a person is innocent of the crime of aggravated manslaughter. This means a strong defense can weaken the prosecutor’s claim.
Possible defenses include pleading innocence and having an alibi. An alibi means that the person was not at the crime scene when the death occurred. They were somewhere else and can prove the fact with witnesses. The falsely accused defense is another option. This is where the accused claims that the prosecutor has the wrong person.
Another defense option is challenging the reckless element of the manslaughter charge. This means that a person claims the officer’s death was an accident. They weren’t reckless. All defense options available depend on the facts involved in the person’s case. That’s why it is imperative to contact a defense attorney about building a solid defense to an aggravated manslaughter in the second-degree charge.
Contact Us About Your New York Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree Charge
If you are being investigated for or accused of aggravated manslaughter, it’s time to start fighting the charge. Contact our law firm immediately for legal assistance. We will come up with a strong defense based on the facts of the case. We will also work to get the charge reduced or dropped. Contact us today for legal representation. An aggravated manslaughter is too serious to take your chances that the state will willingly clear your name.