With regard to the death of an individual at the hands of another, Canadian law organizes it under three categories: murder, manslaughter, or criminal negligence. It’s important to remember what each of these charges are, as they can ultimately determine the type of punishment the accused will receive.
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You will need to rely on a trusted criminal defence lawyer if you are ever charged with crimes of this nature. Vladimir Semyonov is a manslaughter lawyer in Newmarket with immense knowledge and experience at all levels of the justice system. Semyonov works with you to resolve your case and improve your chances of an acquittal or negotiate for a reduced sentence.
In this article, we’ll go over the definitions of murder, manslaughter, and negligence and the differences between each of them.
In Canadian criminal law, murder is defined as performing an action to intentionally cause the death of another person or to inflict bodily harm, knowing that death is likely to result. In a sense, simply intending to cause serious bodily harm to another person can meet the required definition.
Murder is classified as either in the manner of the 1st degree or 2nd degree. Murders that are planned and deliberate fall under the 1st degree category. All other chargers that do not fall under that category are classified as 2nd degree murders.
The most serious offence is 1st degree murder and the criminal code automatically deems it as such during the action of several other offences, even if they are not deliberate. Moreover, the murder of a police officer or prison guard is automatically a 1st degree offence.
For people over the age of 18 years, a conviction in the first-degree will land the offender a mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 25 years. A second-degree conviction also results in a life sentence for the offender with no chance of parole for around 10-25 years, at the discretion of a judge.
What is Manslaughter?
Manslaughter is classified as committing an unlawful act causing death, even when the intention was not to kill. Any “culpable homicide” that does not fall under the definition of murder is said to be classified as manslaughter. This includes any means of an unlawful act, criminal negligence, causing that person to do anything to contribute to their own death, or willfully intimidating that person.
Manslaughter is when the level of intent is less than a murder charge. Essentially, it is when someone does something wrong and someone else ends up dead because of said action. Although the offender did not intend to kill or cause bodily harm, the fact that they knew may result in such a charge.
Penalties for manslaughter vary depending on the case. It does not carry an automatic life sentence, but can be used as an option for a maximum sentence. There is no minimum sentence for such offences and can be used to bargain down an existing murder charge.
Exceptions to this if a firearm was used in the manslaughter. In this case, four years will be the minimum.
Criminal Negligence and Death
Criminal negligence causing death can result in life imprisonment with parole eligibility after seven years. It is defined as showing a reckless disregard for the lives or safety of others and in doing anything or in omitting to do anything that is their supposed duty.
It is a separate offence to manslaughter that can be committed by a failure to act on a duty imposed by law. It does not apply to bystanders who witness someone in distress and chooses not to help.
Another form of negligence applies to young infants and women, known as Neglect in Child-Birth (formerly called “Infanticide.”) It requires females, who are pregnant and about to give birth, to make provisions for assistance in respect with the birth. Failure to do so, leading to a child’s death or permanent injury, is guilty of a serious offence. This also applies to concealing the child’s birth. The maximum penalty for this negligence is five years imprisonment.
Your Next Steps
Semyonov Law has a wealth of knowledge and experience in criminal defence law. We’ll work to deliver the best results for your case and represent you at any time. For more information call us at (647)-292-3377.