Murder / Manslaughter Charges in Missouri

Both murder and manslaughter charges in Missouri can result in serious penalties, including the death penalty. With that in mind, if you or a loved one has been charged with either offense, it’s in your best interest to consult with a Jefferson City, criminal defense lawyer with experience handling such sensitive cases. 

At Kirsch & Kirsch, we understand that there are two sides to every story. Effectively conveying your side of things can be the single most crucial factor in determining whether you will be incarcerated, face the death penalty, or set free. 

A murder or manslaughter charge doesn’t always lead to a conviction. Our lawyers have jury trial experience in murder cases and have secured not guilty verdicts for our clients in the past. 

If you’ve been charged with murder or manslaughter, contact a Missouri criminal defense lawyer you can trust. Give us a call today at 573-222-0826 for your free, confidential consultation. 

Learn more about manslaughter and murder charges in Missouri below. 

What is Manslaughter in Missouri?

There are three types of manslaughter charges in Missouri. They include voluntary manslaughter, first-degree involuntary manslaughter, and second-degree involuntary manslaughter. Learn more about each below. 

  • Voluntary Manslaughter: A person commits voluntary manslaughter if they cause the death of another person (as defined by second-degree murder), but they commit the act under the influence of “sudden pass

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  • First-Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: A person who recklessly causes another person’s death can be charged with 1st degree involuntary manslaughter in Missouri.
  • Second-Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Individuals who act with “criminal negligence” to cause another person’s death can face these charges. 

Remember, if you are charged with manslaughter, the prosecution must prove without a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime (as defined by the law). An experienced lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case and present compelling evidence in your defense. 

Differences Between 1st and 2nd Degree Murder

Anytime a person knowingly kills another person, it can be considered murder. In Missouri, there are two types of murder charges. They include first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Definitions for each charge include, but are not limed to: 

  • 1st Degree Murder: A person can be charged with murder in the first degree if they
    “knowingly cause the death of another person after deliberation upon the matter.”
  • 2nd Degree Murder: An individual can face second degree murder charges if they “knowingly cause the death of another person or, with the purpose of causing physical injury to another person, causes the death of another person.”

The most significant difference between the two charges is that first-degree murder convictions require proof of “deliberation.” Deliberation means “cool reflection, no matter how brief.” In some cases, defendants can be charged with second degree murder even if it was not deliberate or intentional. If charged, it’s essential to consult with a Jefferson City criminal defense lawyer experienced in handling murder charges. 

Penalties For Murder or Manslaughter Charges in Missouri

Those convicted of 1st-degree murder in Missouri face the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or probation. 

Individuals charged with 2nd degree murder in Missouri face 10 – 30 years in prison or life imprisonment. It’s important to note that those charged with murder may also face the penalties of other crimes alleged in addition to the murder charges. 

The penalties for manslaughter vary depending on the charge. Generally, people charged with manslaughter in Missouri face the following penalties: 

  • Involuntary Manslaughter: Up to 15 years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines.
  • 1st Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Up to 10 years imprisonment, $10,000 in fines, plus the penalties for other criminal charges. 
  • 2nd Degree Involuntary Manslaughter: Up to four years in prison and $10,000 in fines. 

Contact Kirsch & Kirsch Today 

Whether you are facing manslaughter or murder charges in Missouri, there is a lot at stake. Failure to hire a skilled criminal defense team can lead to a life of imprisonment or potentially the death penalty. Our lawyers have experience successfully defending clients against murder charges and are ready to work hard to pursue the least amount of penalties possible for you under the circumstances. 

If you’ve been charged with murder or manslaughter in Cole County or the surrounding areas, work with a criminal defense team that you can depend on. Contact Kirsch & Kirsch today at 573-222-0826 for your free, confidential consultation.