Nevada Voluntary Manslaughter Law

While all unlawful killings are treated as serious criminal offenses, homicides are divided into several different categories in Nevada depending on the circumstances surrounding the killing. In Nevada, these categories include: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. This article provides a brief overview of Nevada's voluntary manslaughter law.

What Is Voluntary Manslaughter?

While the definition of voluntary manslaughter differs slightly from state to state, the crime commonly encompasses killings where the offender had no prior intent to kill, and instead killed in the "heat of passion." For example, if a husband comes home to find his wife in bed with her lover and then kills the lover while in a blind rage, the killing would likely be classified as voluntary manslaughter. However, if the husband had a chance to cool off before he killed the lover, then the crime would probably be elevated from manslaughter to murder. The table below outlines Nevada's voluntary manslaughter law.

Code Section

Nevada Code section 200.050: Voluntary Manslaughter

Definition of Voluntary Manslaughter

 

In cases of voluntary manslaughter, there must be a serious and highly provoking injury inflicted upon the killer, sufficient to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, or an attempt by the victim to commit a serious personal injury on the killer.

No "Cooling Off" Period

 

In order for the killing to qualify as voluntary manslaughter, the killing must be the result of that sudden, violent impulse of passion supposed to be irresistible. If there appears to have been an interval between the assault or provocation and the killing, sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, the killing shall be attributed to deliberate revenge and punished as murder.

Penalties

 

Voluntary manslaughter is a category B felony that is punishable by imprisonment for one to 10 years, and a fine of up to $10,000.

What's the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter?

The key difference between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter is whether or not the killing was done intentionally. Voluntary manslaughter is an intentional killing where the killer didn't previously intend to kill the victim. On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter is an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Nevada's voluntary manslaughter law contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

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