Aggravated manslaughter in the first degree is a serious crime with serious consequences. If a jury convicts you of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, you could spend up to 25 years in prison – and unfortunately, it will stay on your record for the rest of your life.
If police arrest you and the state later charges you with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, the first thing you should do is get in touch with an experienced homicide lawyer in Brooklyn. There’s no time to waste waiting on a public defender, and defending yourself when you’re not familiar the laws in New York can be a colossal mistake.
What is Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree?
In order to be considered first-degree manslaughter, the defendant must have intended to cause serious physical injury to the victim that resulted in death. Further, if the state wants to charge you with aggravated first-degree manslaughter, the victim must have been a police officer or peace officer engaged in official duties; you also must have known (or you reasonably should have known) that the victim fell into that category.
For an aggravated manslaughter in the first degree charge, the victim must be:
Intent is important in this type of manslaughter charge. The prosecution must prove that you meant to cause the victim serious bodily injury, which means an “impairment of a person’s physical condition which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes death or serious and protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.”
First-degree aggravated manslaughter is often called voluntary manslaughter because it requires intent to meet the criteria for the charge.
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated Manslaughter in the First Degree?
In New York, a conviction of aggravated first-degree manslaughter carries a harsh sentence. Because it is a Class B felony, a judge could sentence you to up to 25 years in prison. The mandatory minimum sentence is 5 years in prison.
Naturally, you’ll have to deal with parole after you are released from prison.
What Happens After an Arrest for Manslaughter?
If police arrest you because they suspect you are guilty of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, they’ll bring you to the police station and process paperwork to detain you. They’ll keep you there until a judge can formally read you your charges; that happens at your arraignment.
What to Do if You’re Charged with 1st-Degree Aggravated Manslaughter
Before you talk to investigators, insist that they allow you to call your lawyer. Here’s what you need to remember: police and law enforcement officers have one job, and that is to catch the “bad guy.” If they think that’s you, they’ll do anything they can to get you to confess to committing the crime.
Sometimes police are a little less than ethical when they’re trying to wrench a confession out of someone. They may promise you that if you confess, a judge will “go easy” on you, or they may resort to military-style interrogation techniques. Neither of these things are okay, and if your lawyer is present, he can stop the police from doing them – and he can protect your rights in other ways, as well.
You have the right to have an attorney present during any type of questioning by law enforcement officials. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees that, so please, take advantage of it.
What Your Lawyer Will Need to Know
When your lawyer arrives, he’ll probably ask to meet with you privately. At that time, he’ll ask you several questions – and everything you answer will be part of his defense strategy for you. Your lawyer might ask about:
The circumstances surrounding the case
Who else was present when you allegedly committed the crime
Whether you know of any witnesses who can speak on your behalf
What happened before, during and after the alleged incident
Remember that your lawyer’s job is to be on your side and fight for you. You don’t have to be afraid of speaking to your own attorney. In fact, being honest with your lawyer is the best possible thing you can do – just wait for him to ask you specific questions and provide specific answers to those questions.
Call an Experienced Manslaughter Lawyer in Brooklyn Now
You don’t have the luxury of time on your side if the state is charging you with aggravated manslaughter in the first degree. Every minute counts.
Call or text my cell phone at 917-856-1247. If it’s easier, get in touch with me online. What’s important is that you have someone fighting for you from the earliest possible moment in your case, and that’s exactly what I’ll do.