Minnesota Manslaughter & Homicide Defense Lawyers

Murder is obviously a very serious offense. Although the murder rate in Minnesota is not extremely high, it does nevertheless occur. The State of Minnesota has various laws that address the taking of another’s life, ranging from First Degree Murder to Manslaughter. In this state, there are 3 levels/degrees of Murder, 2 levels of Manslaughter, and a Criminal Vehicular Homicide offense on the books:

1. Murder

a. First Degree: This offense is a felony. A person can be charged with this offense if the murder was premeditated, was done in the process of a first of second degree rape charge, a peace officer was the victim, or someone was intentionally killed while the offender was in the process of committing most other felony offenses. The sentence is life in prison.

b. Second Degree: This offense is a felony. A person can be charged with this offense if they intended to kill the person, but did so without premeditation. Also if someone was unintentionally killed while the offender was in the process of committing most other felony offenses. The maximum punishment is 40 years in prison

c. Third Degree: This offense is a felony. A person can be charged with this offense if they commit any act so dangerous as to evidence a depraved mind, or a person dies as a result of providing them with controlled substances. The maximum punishment is 25 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.

2. Manslaughter:

a. First Degree: This is offense is a felony. A person can be charged with this offense if they intentionally take a life when provoked by words or actions that would lead another person in like circumstances to take that life, or commits a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor with such force that death was foreseeable. The maximum punishment is 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

b. Second Degree: This offense is a felony. A person can be charged with this offense if their negligence creates an unreasonable risk to the point that the person consciously takes the chance of causing death. The maximum penalty is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

3. Criminal Vehicular Homicide:

A person can be charged with causing the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle under the following circumstances:

a. In a grossly negligent manner;
b. In a negligent manner while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
c. While having an alcohol concentration of .08 or greater;
d. While causing an accident and leaving the scene thereof;
The maximum punishment is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

In addition, there can be a 10-15 year driver’s license revocation if convicted of Criminal Vehicular Homicide.

The attorney’s at Heefner Nelson Law have over 30 years combined experience dealing with the complexities of Minnesota’s murder and manslaughter laws. Contact us with any questions you may have, or for a free initial consultation.