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Involuntary Manslaughter

We have a proven track record of success in handling over 15,000 criminal cases and are consistently awarded as one of Ohio’s top criminal defense firms. We are highly experienced involuntary manslaughter lawyers in Columbus, OH and all of central Ohio. Experience matters when dealing with these cases, which prosecutors and judges handle differently on a case-by-case basis. We know what to expect and what to do to get the best result possible.

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Ohio Involuntary Manslaughter Defense Lawyers

The crime of involuntary manslaughter prohibits anyone from causing the death of another, or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy as the approximate consequence of either committing or attempting to commit a felony, misdemeanor, regulatory offense, or minor misdemeanor.

Involuntary manslaughter in Ohio is sometimes known as felony murder because the person who killed the victim was either committing or trying to commit a felony (or engage in other unlawful activity, as noted above), and the victim’s death occurred as a byproduct of that underlying effort.

Ohio Involuntary Manslaughter Attorney

An involuntary manslaughter charge is no laughing matter. A conviction can lead to years spent in jail and excessive fines. Protect your rights and your freedom by calling our Columbus criminal defense attorneys today at Joslyn Law Firm. We can offer you fierce and dedicated advocacy.

Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your involuntary manslaughter offense in Franklin County, and the surrounding counties of Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio. We will fight to have your charges reduced or even dismissed.


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Information Center


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Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter

If the underlying offense that the offender was committing or trying to commit at the time that they fatally injured the victim was a felony, their involuntary manslaughter offense is graded as a felony of the first degree.

By contrast, If the underlying offense that the offender was committing or trying to commit at the time that they fatally injured the victim was a misdemeanor, regulatory infraction, or minor misdemeanor, their involuntary manslaughter offense is graded as a felony of the third degree.

If the offender was operating or participating in the operation of a motor vehicle, snowmobile, watercraft, or aircraft, and the offender was under the influence of alcohol or another substance at the time of the offense, they shall also be sentenced to a Class One suspension of their driver’s license, and they shall be subject to a mandatory prison term.


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Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations for involuntary manslaughter is 20 years in Ohio. This means that 20 years past the date upon which the victim was killed, prosecutors are no longer empowered to file charges connected with the case unless a highly-specific exception to this general rule applies.


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Defenses for Involuntary Manslaughter

There are four primary defenses that are used as legal strategies when pushing back against charges of involuntary manslaughter. The first is that what happened to the victim was an accident. This is not an unreasonable defense under most circumstances, given that the offender, by the very nature of the crime with which they have been charged, was either trying to commit a different felony or alternative criminal wrongdoing at the time of the offense. They did not set out to kill the victim but were otherwise engaged in a different criminal act or attempted criminal wrongdoing.

Self-defense is also not an unreasonable defense to an involuntary manslaughter charge. One can easily imagine a scenario in which someone is either committing criminal wrongdoing or attempting to do so, and someone responds to that scenario with either the threat of deadly force or deadly force itself. In such a scenario, it would be legally acceptable for the offender to respond to such force or threats of force with timely, proportional, reasonable counterforce. Simply because someone is committing an underlying offense doesn’t mean that they are prohibited from defending themselves in the event that someone threatens them or hurts them.

The final two primary defenses used to rebut involuntary manslaughter charges are insufficient evidence and the idea that they have been wrongfully accused of a crime that they did not commit. Both of these defenses could be applied to virtually any criminal defense strategy because they simply call into question the prosecutor’s ability to prove each of the elements of the case as required by law.


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Additional Resources

Aggravating Factors for Death Penalty Crimes – Some offenses involving the death of another person, when affected by aggravating factors, become offenses that are punishable by the death penalty. The Death Penalty Information Center compiled this fact sheet that explains these aggravating factors, state-by-state.

Ohio Code Concerning Wrongful Death Lawsuits – Many people charged with harming others are unaware that they may be held liable by both the criminal justice system and the civil justice system for their alleged harm. This resource explains how wrongful death lawsuits – filed by the surviving loved ones of fatal injury victims – operate.


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Ohio Involuntary Manslaughter Attorney | Joslyn Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been charged with manslaughter, you are likely worried about the consequences that could follow a conviction. This may include steep fines and incarceration, or having a career completely destroyed. Joslyn Law Firm understands how devastating this type of charge can be. Our attorneys are uniquely qualified to protecting your freedom.

If you reside in central Ohio, particularly the counties of Franklin, Delaware, Madison, Licking, Fairfield, or Pickaway, call (614) 444-1900 to schedule your first consultation.


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  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
  • Columbus CEO magazine has yearly selections for the best attorneys in Columbus Ohio. Brian Joslyn has been identified as one of the most highly skilled attorneys across central Ohio.
  • Brian Joslyn has earned recognition for community leadership by Lawyer LegionLawyer Legion
  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB), founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.

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