Voluntary 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 voluntary 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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Voluntary Manslaughter

The crime of voluntary manslaughter specifically concerns the killing of another that occurs when the offender has a specific kind of intent in mind. Specifically, this law prohibits an individual from knowingly causing the death of another, or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy due to a sexual motivation.

Voluntary manslaughter also prohibits an individual from knowingly causing the death of another, or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy due to the influence of either sudden passion or a fit of rage. The rage or passion must be brought on by serious provocation initiated by the victim that is considered to be “reasonably sufficient to incite the person into using deadly force.”

Ohio Voluntary Manslaughter Lawyer

If you have been arrested for voluntary manslaughter, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Brian Joslyn at Joslyn Law Firm is a dedicated voluntary manslaughter defense lawyer. He can use his years of experience in criminal law to help clients get a favorable outcome. Allow him to work hard to get your charges reduced or dropped.

Joslyn Law Firm serves clients in Columbus, Ohio including Franklin County, or any of the surrounding counties in Ohio, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, or Fairfield County, contact Joslyn Law Firm. Call (614) 444-1900 to schedule an initial consultation.

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Information Center

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Voluntary Manslaughter in Ohio

For the purposes of voluntary manslaughter charges, the term “sexual motivation” means “a purpose to gratify the sexual needs or desires of the offender.”

Voluntary manslaughter is sometimes referred to as a “heat of passion” crime. It is worth noting that only killing events that occur immediately as a result of fits of passion, rage, or sexual motivation are classified as voluntary manslaughter. If the alleged offender develops these intentions and then either has time to cool off or plan their actions, the case will be graded as murder.

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Penalties for Voluntary Manslaughter

Voluntary manslaughter is graded as a felony of the first degree. This means that a conviction is generally punishable by between three and 11 years in prison and fines not to exceed $20,000.

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Statute Of Limitations

Although some limited exceptions to this rule apply under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations for voluntary manslaughter in Ohio is 20 years. This means that, unless an exception applies, prosecutors cannot file charges against someone for voluntary manslaughter if the victim’s death occurred more than 20 years ago.

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Defenses for Voluntary Manslaughter

The most common defenses that are used in response to voluntary manslaughter charges in Ohio are self-defense, defense of others, intent, and legal insanity.

Prosecutors cannot win their case unless they can meet every element of a crime. In the case of voluntary manslaughter, there needs to be a fit of passion or fit of rage somehow instigated by the victim. It is not hard to imagine a scenario in which a victim’s threats, use of force, or other behavior could cause someone to feel a fit of rage brought on by a need to either protect themselves or others. To succeed as a viable defense, self-defense or a defense of others strategy must prove that the threat of imminent bodily harm or death was both reasonable and imminent. Additionally, the force used was both proportional and timely when considering the circumstances that the alleged offender was facing.

Arguing that the alleged offender did not have the requisite intent for voluntary manslaughter can also be a compelling defense. A prosecutor may argue that the alleged offender had a sexual motivation, fit of passion, or fit of rage that inspired the killing in question. The defendant could conceivably argue that while they were upset about whatever had happened, the killing itself was an accident or somehow failed to meet the requisite intent mandated by the elements of the crime.

Finally, it could be argued that the alleged offender was somehow unable to appreciate the quality of their actions in the moment. Their attorney could conceivably argue successfully that their client meets the criteria of legal insanity and therefore cannot be held accountable for what transpired.

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Additional Resources

Aggravating Factors for Death Penalty Crimes –The Death Penalty Information Center compiled this fact sheet, which lists when aggravating factors in each state can turn an otherwise “standard” killing charge into a case that may result in the death penalty.

Ohio Code Concerning Wrongful Death Lawsuits – The outcome of a criminal case does not impact the ability of a victim’s surviving loved ones to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the alleged perpetrator in civil court. This section of the Ohio Code governs these lawsuits.

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Ohio Voluntary Manslaughter Attorney | Joslyn Law Firm

Brian Joslyn at Joslyn Law Firm is a dedicated criminal defense attorney. He understands the stress that entails being charged with voluntary manslaughter, and he wants to help alleviate that stress. He will use his experience in criminal law to build a defense plan in your best interest.

If you have been arrested in Franklin County, or any of the surrounding counties in Ohio, including Pickaway County, Madison County, or Delaware County, call (614) 444-1900 to schedule a free consultation.

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  • Brian Joslyn was named Best Lawyer in 2019 by Birdeye.
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  • Preeminent Attorney Award. Peer rated for highest level of professional exellence.
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