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New Hampshire Manslaughter Law

In New Hampshire, there are five types of criminal homicide: capital murder, first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter, and negligent homicide. This article briefly outlines New Hampshire's manslaughter law.

Code Section

New Hampshire Revised Statutes section 630:2: Manslaughter

What's Prohibited?

Causing the death of another:
  • While under the influence of extreme mental or emotional disturbance caused by extreme provocation but which would otherwise constitute murder, or
  • Recklessly


Manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment for up to 30 years. Additionally, if the death resulted from driving a motor vehicle, the court may revoke the offender's license or driving privilege indefinitely.

Manslaughter Example

Murder is generally defined as intentionally causing the death of another. However in some circumstances, a killing that is done intentionally may instead qualify as the lesser crime of manslaughter. If the intentional killing is done while the offender is under the influence of an extreme mental or emotional disturbance caused by extreme provocation then the crime will likely be classified as manslaughter. For example, an offender who kills his wife's lover when he comes home to find them in bed together is guilty of manslaughter if it can be shown that the provocation was sufficient to reduce the crime from murder.

Negligent Homicide

In New Hampshire there is another form of criminal homicide that is closely related to manslaughter: negligent homicide. A person is guilty of negligent homicide in New Hampshire if he or she causes the death of another negligently. The key distinction between manslaughter and negligent homicide in New Hampshire is whether the death was caused by the offender's recklessness or negligence. Recklessness occurs when a person knew (or should have known) that his or her action was likely to cause harm. On the other hand, negligence occurs when a person acts in violation of a duty to someone else, with the breach of that duty causing harm to someone else.

Generally, negligent homicide is a class B felony in New Hampshire. However, negligent homicide is a class A felony if the offender was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled drug (or any combination of intoxicating liquor and controlled drug) while operating a propelled vehicle, or a boat.

Additional Resources

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

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