Murder Vs. Manslaughter Charges in Nevada

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Murder and manslaughter are distinct crimes, but do you really understand the difference between the two? In Nevada, getting manslaughter over murder could be the difference between spending your entire life in prison and only spending a few years locked up. If you want to learn more about the difference between murder and manslaughters charges, check out the blog below.


An individual can be charged with murder if they unlawfully kill a human being with malice. First-degree murder comprises of premeditated killings and felony murder, which are killings done while the suspect is committing a serious felony. Second-degree murder comprises of unintentional killings where the suspect acted so recklessly that death was a foreseeable consequence. Murder is a category A felony carrying a possible life sentence in Nevada State Prison. In first-degree murder cases, courts may impose the death penalty when the aggravating circumstances outweigh all the mitigating circumstances.


Like murder, manslaughter is a type of homicide, but manslaughter is killing without malice and premeditation. There are two kinds of manslaughter in Nevada:

  • Voluntary manslaughter: Killing in the heat of passion. The typical example is a spouse unexpectedly finding their spouse in bed with another person and immediately killing the affair partner out of rage. The maximum prison term is 10 years.
  • Involuntary manslaughter: Unintentional killing done while either breaking the law or by being negligent. The maximum prison term is 4 years.

In addition to carrying lesser penalties than murder, manslaughter also carries less of a social stigma. People with manslaughter convictions may have an easier time moving on with their lives and finding jobs than people with a murder charge.

If you have been arrested for murder or manslaughter, please contact our Reno criminal defense lawyers at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today. We can defend your case and help you get lower charges. Call (775) 227-2280 or contact us online.

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