If the law goes after you for manslaughter, your life is going to change, one way or another. If a court convicts you, you’re more than likely going to prison. Even if you get off, you will still face some significant challenges.
We’ll go through five ways a manslaughter charge can change your life and the lives of those about whom you care.
You Can Go to Prison
Most states consider manslaughter to be a Class 2 Felony. How much prison time you could face for a conviction will depend on the state in which you reside. In Arizona, for example, you will get seven years, minimum, but you could get as many as 21 years, depending on mitigating circumstances.
The state considers manslaughter to be:
- When you recklessly cause someone’s death
- When you kill someone in a passionate moment
The main manslaughter and murder difference is in premeditation or lack thereof. If you kill someone without planning to do it, that’s likely manslaughter.
If you go to prison for multiple years, your family will have to get along without you. It’s probably going to be very hard on them.
You Might Get a Divorce or End Up Separated
If you get a manslaughter conviction and go to prison for multiple years, your spouse or partner might not want to stay with you. They might feel like:
- You’re not the person they thought you were
- They don’t want to put their life on hold and wait for you
Let’s say you have children with your spouse or partner. They might want another parental figure in the picture rather than trying to raise those kids on their own. It seems callous, but some individuals do think that way.
Also, it’s true that if you caused someone’s death via manslaughter, you didn’t plan to do it, but presumably, you still acted violently. Your spouse or partner may not have ever expected that from you. In light of this revelation, they might not want to be with you going forward.
You Might Lose Your Job
Maybe the law brought you up on a manslaughter charge, but you fought it and won. You’re probably thrilled, but that might not be the end of it.
Your work will undoubtedly hear about what happened, and your boss may stick by you, but they also might not. They might feel like you’re too angry or unpredictable, and they no longer want someone like you working for them.
You’ll probably have to look for work again quickly. Since the courts did not convict you of a crime, you don’t have to mention the manslaughter charge to other companies looking to hire you. It is still possible they’ll find out about the trial if word got out.
You may have to move to another city where nobody knows you or has heard about your ordeal.
Your Family and Friends Might Not Look at You the Same Way
Even though you did not intend to kill anyone, if you beat the charges and get to avoid prison time, your family and friends might regard you differently now. Your spouse or partner might be afraid of you. Your children could be as well.
You showed you have a violence capacity that they might not have known about before. There are sometimes mitigating circumstances, and you might be able to explain your action satisfactorily. It’s all about how much your friends and family love you and the situation particulars.
You Might Face Depression or PTSD
Maybe someone was hassling you in a bar. They needled you to the point that you confronted them. When you did, you accidentally killed them.
If you beat the charges, you can stay out of prison, but you might deal with depression afterward. You might have to cope with PTSD as well.
You could relive the scenario over and over, wishing you had done things differently. Unless you’re a sociopath, the fact that you killed someone is probably going to bother you.
You might be able to go on anti-depression or antianxiety medication. That can help you get through the months and years after the incident. Eventually, you should feel better, though the memory will probably always stick with you.
Manslaughter does not change anyone’s life for the better, but you should be able to get past it eventually. The one thing you can’t allow to happen is for this to completely derail your life for good.
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