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Manslaughter in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1103

What is Manslaughter in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1103?

Manslaughter is a violation of A.R.S. 3-1103, in Arizona, and may be committed under the following circumstances by:

  1. Recklessly causing the death of another person, or
  2. Committing second degree murder pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-1104, upon sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion resulting from adequate provocation by the victim. Whether someone was adequately provoked by the victim is an issue for the jury to decide.
  3. Intentionally aiding another to commit suicide, or
  4. Being forced to kill someone by use of coercion or the threat of immediate deadly physical force upon such person which a reasonable person in his situation would have been unable to resist. This would be the defense of duress where one is compelled to commit the homicide by the coercion or threat of immediate death if the person does not comply.
  5. Knowingly or recklessly causing the death of an unborn child by any physical injury to the mother.

Common charges of manslaughter occur when a person is operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, and is involved in a traffic accident which kills someone. Manslaughter is the consumption of alcohol prior to driving when it is reasonable to believe that the consumption of alcohol may affect the driver's ability to properly operate the vehicle.

Penalties to Manslaughter in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1103

A conviction of manslaughter is a violation of A.R.S. 13-1103, and is a class two felony in the state of Arizona.

A first-time felony offender faces between 7 and 21 years in prison, with a presumptive sentence of 10.5 years.

Offenders with a previous felony conviction face longer prison sentences between 14 and 28 years, with a presumptive sentence of 15 years 9 months.

Defenses to Manslaughter in Arizona, A.R.S. 13-1103

Defenses to manslaughter charges in Arizona may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. It's important to note that each case is unique, and the appropriateness of a defense strategy depends on the facts and evidence involved. Here are some potential defenses that might be raised in response to manslaughter charges:

  1. Self-Defense or Defense of Others: If the accused can demonstrate that they reasonably believed the use of force was necessary to defend themselves or others from imminent harm, this may be a valid defense. Arizona law recognizes the right to use force in self-defense under certain circumstances.

  2. Lack of Intent: Manslaughter generally involves the unintentional killing of another person. If the defense can establish that the accused did not have the requisite intent or acted without the necessary mental state for manslaughter, it may be a defense.

  3. Accident: If the death occurred as a result of an accident and not due to reckless or intentional conduct, the defense may argue that the death was unintended and, therefore, not manslaughter.

  4. Intoxication: In some cases, the defense may argue that the accused was intoxicated at the time of the incident, leading to impaired judgment and a lack of intent to commit manslaughter.

  5. Mistaken Identity: If there is doubt about the identification of the accused as the person responsible for the act leading to the death, the defense may argue that the accused was wrongly identified.

  6. Insufficient Evidence: The defense may challenge the sufficiency of the evidence presented by the prosecution, arguing that there is not enough proof to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  7. Provocation: In certain situations, the defense may assert that the accused was provoked into committing the act, leading to a loss of self-control. This might be relevant in cases of voluntary manslaughter.

  8. Consent: The death of an unborn child during an abortion with the consent of the pregnant woman or which is authorized by law.
  9. Alibi: The accused asserts that they were somewhere else at the time the alleged crime occurred and, therefore, could not have committed the offense

It's crucial to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney to assess the specifics of the case and determine the most appropriate defense strategy. Legal professionals can provide guidance, review evidence, and work to protect the rights of the accused throughout the legal process. If you or someone you know is facing manslaughter charges in Arizona, seeking legal representation as soon as possible is important.


Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC,. Arizona Experienced, Aggressive, Manslaughter and Vehicular Homicide Lawyer

Contact Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC today for a free case evaluation about your pending homicide case involving manslaughter charges in Arizona. Brian Di Pietro is an experienced, tough, aggressive Phoenix criminal defense attorney who will work hard to fight the charges against you to achieve the most favorable outcome for your particular manslaughter homicide charges. Contact now Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC at 623-242-2655 for a free confidential case evaluation about your manslaughter charges in Arizona.