Any criminal charge related to a homicide is difficult to deal with, but you shouldn’t try to just ignore the charges. Trying to ignore them means that you will have to rush and throw together a defense at the last minute. This could mean that you miss critical points that could help your case.

When you are facing voluntary manslaughter charges, you might be relieved that you aren’t facing murder charges. Please remember that voluntary manslaughter charges are still very serious matters and can lead to some life-long penalties. This is because it is a violent felony charge, which means that you will be branded as a felon for the rest of your life.

In Missouri, voluntary manslaughter is a Class B felony, which means that you are looking at 5 to 15 years in prison if you are convicted of this charge. Let that sink in and then use it as fuel to get to work on your defense today.

As you plan your defense, one thing that you have to remember is that most points in the case fall on the prosecution to prove. Each of these points provides you with an opportunity to show that the prosecution’s claims might not be right.

There are a few different things that you can consider as part of your defense. One of these is whether the homicide was done in the heat of passion or not. This could be a part of your defense, but since it is an affirmative defense, you should carefully consider it before you proceed.

Source: FindLaw, “Voluntary Manslaughter Overview,” accessed June 30, 2017