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Matthew A. Radefeld and Daniel A. Juengel

What to avoid doing if you’re charged with manslaughter

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2022 | Homicide |

Being charged with manslaughter in St. Louis, MO can be life-altering given the nature of the crime. If you’re convicted of this crime, the penalties can be steep and long-lasting. It is important to know what not to do after getting charged with manslaughter in order to improve your chances of a more positive outcome.  

What is manslaughter?

Manslaughter is a form of homicide in which one person unintentionally causes the death of another. There are two types of manslaughter: voluntary and involuntary.  

Voluntary manslaughter occurs when a person kills another in response to an event that triggers a “sudden passion.” For example, a jealous spouse might kill their cheating partner in a “fit of rage”. Involuntary manslaughter, on the other hand, occurs when a person negligently or accidentally kills another. For example, a person might kill someone while driving under the influence of alcohol of drugs.   

What should you avoid doing after getting charged with this crime?

Making statements to the police without an attorney

When talking to the police, the best thing you can do is say nothing and remain silent until your lawyer arrives. You might be thinking that it’s better to talk now rather than later; however, this can hurt your case in the end if you say something legally inadvisable.


After getting charged with manslaughter, it is easy to feel panic or to feel unsure about your situation. However, panicking can make things worse for you. Instead, take a deep breath and try to remain calm when talking to authorities or legal representatives so that they can better understand what’s going on.

Pleading  guilty

This might seem like a no-brainer, but some people do it anyway. If you plead guilty to manslaughter, you might be giving up your chance at a legitimate defense.

Talking about the case to your friends and family

Talking about your manslaughter charges can make things worse for you. The last thing you want is for someone in your family or close circle of friends to let something slip that hurts your case. You should also refrain from searching online for cases similar to yours as the authorities could use this against you later on.  

Manslaughter is a very serious charge that can affect the rest of your life. It is important to know what not to do when facing manslaughter charges to improve your chances of obtaining the most desirable outcome.