Murder is the most serious crime in New Jersey’s state law. Manslaughter and Aggravated Manslaughter are similar crimes where a person is killed but the defendant did not possess the requisite mental state that Murder requires (knowingly or purposely).
Vehicular Homicide is a similar crime in which a person kills another person while driving a motor vehicle or vessel recklessly. The Vehicular Homicide carries a lengthy drivers license suspension (10 years to Life) which is not mandatory for Manslaughter or Aggravated Manslaughter.
The most common cases of Manslaughter or Aggravated Manslaughter is when a person kills another person while drinking and driving or operating their vehicle under the influence of drugs.
Former Aggravated Manslaughter and Manslaughter Prosecutors
The Bianchi Law Group is made up of former trial prosecutors and other “of counsel” attorneys who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of most crimes in New Jersey and will defend you for all federal and state crimes in New Jersey including Manslaughter or Aggravated Manslaughter.
Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court
Partners Robert A. Bianchi and David J. Bruno are also both certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Criminal Trial Attorneys.
In New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court has a certification committee which classifies certain New Jersey Lawyers as New Jersey criminal defense attorneys. The process requires the prospective attorneys to satisfy strict criteria including extensive jury trials, a primary focus in criminal law, an application submission, a peer review process, a character and background check and to pass a written examination. Only 250 of over 98,000 lawyers (less than 1%) are designated as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This should be an important factor in finding a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to represent you. Many New Jersey Lawyers describe themselves as trial attorneys, but most do not have the New Jersey Court’s distinction as Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
A person is guilty of Manslaughter in New Jersey if they recklessly cause the death of another. A person acts recklessly with respect to a material element of an offense when he consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the material element exists or will result from his conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that, considering the nature and purpose of the actor’s conduct and the circumstances known to him, its disregard involves a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the actor’s situation.
Additionally, a person can be guilty of Manslaughter if the killing would otherwise be Murder (Purposely or Knowingly) under section 2C:11-3, however, the murder was committed in the heat of passion resulting from a reasonable provocation. This is considered a mitigating circumstance that would negate the purposeful or knowingly conduct.
A person is guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter in New Jersey if they recklessly cause death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life. The phrase “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life” does not focus on the defendant’s state of mind, but rather on the circumstances under which you find (he/she) acted. If in light of all the evidence, you find that defendant’s conduct resulted in a probability as opposed to a mere possibility of death, then you may find that (he/she) acted under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life.
Additionally, a person can be guilty of Aggravated Manslaughter if he causes the death of another person while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer in violation of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:29-2.
Manslaughter and Aggravated Manslaughter Penalties in New Jersey
Aggravated manslaughter under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life is a crime of the first degree and upon conviction, thereof a person may be sentenced between 10 and 30 years. Aggravated manslaughter while fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer is a crime of the first degree and upon conviction, thereof a person may be sentenced between 10 and 20 years in New Jersey State prison.
Manslaughter is a crime of the second degree and upon conviction, thereof a person may be sentenced between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State prison.
If a motor vehicle was used in the commission of the crime, the Sentencing Judge has the authority to postpone, suspend, or revoke for a period not to exceed two years the driver’s license, registration certificate, or both of any person convicted of a crime, disorderly persons offense, or petty disorderly persons offense. 2C:43-2(c).
The Sentencing Judge may also order fines and restitution as prescribed by 2C:43-3 for all convictions for Manslaughter and Aggravated Manslaughter in New Jersey.
Trial Ready New Jersey Criminal Lawyers
Like in all of our cases handled at the Bianchi Law Group, our experienced staff of trial attorneys and “of counsel” attorneys are there to make sure the Government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If our attorneys cannot resolve the case with a dismissal or a fair and just plea bargain, our lawyers at The Bianchi Law Group will not hesitate to select a jury and take the case to trial. That is what we do and what distinguishes us from other attorneys. We are former prosecutors, trial-tested, and certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys… We will not hesitate to go to trial.