Manslaughter in the First Degree
Manslaughter in the First Degree by Misdemeanor-Manslaughter is a mitigated murder charge where a death occurred during the execution of a misdemeanor. It requires no particular mental state on the part of the defendant except that which is required for conviction of the underlying misdemeanor. Any misdemeanor can be used as the underlying offense in a misdemeanor manslaughter charged.
All homicide charges, including Manslaughter in the First Degree, are serious offenses in Oklahoma. It is crucial you retain a Fierce Advocate, experienced criminal defense attorney, and criminal trial lawyer to fight for you, if you have charges of this magnitude pending in criminal court.
Manslaughter in the First Degree Overview
Manslaughter in the First Degree can also occur through a “heat of passion” moment. This is a defense to murder in the first degree. The passion or emotion which must exist in the defendant(s) refers to any strong emotion, such as fear, terror, anger, rage or resentment. This passion or emotion must have existed to such a degree as would naturally affect the ability to reason and render the mind incapable of cool reflection. However, the passion need not have been such as would entirely overcome reason, or be so overpowering as to destroy free exercise of choice.
This emotional state must, however, actually dominate the person at the time of the commission of the homicidal act and must be directed toward the deceased and not toward another. There must not be a reasonable opportunity for the passion to cool. This means that the homicide must have occurred while the defendant(s) was/were still affected by the passion or emotion. The homicide must have followed the provocation before there was time for the emotion to cool or subside.
Whether or not there was a reasonable opportunity for the passion to cool depends upon whether, under all the circumstances of the particular case, there was such a lapse of time between the provocation and the homicidal act that the mind of a reasonable person would have cooled sufficiently, so that the homicide was directed by reason, rather than by passion or emotion. The length of time that constitutes a reasonable opportunity for the passion to cool may vary according to the circumstances of the particular case.
“Adequate provocation” refers to any improper conduct of the deceased toward the defendant(s) which naturally or reasonably would have the effect of arousing a sudden heat of passion within a reasonable person in the position of the defendant(s). Generally, actions which are calculated to provoke an emotional response and ordinarily cause serious violence are recognized as adequate provocation. Actions that do not ordinarily provoke serious violence do not constitute adequate provocation.
In determining whether the deceased’s conduct was adequate provocation, the conduct is judged as a person or reasonable intelligence and disposition would respond to it. Mere words alone, or threats, menaces, or gestures alone, however offensive or insulting, do not constitute adequate provocation. However, words, threats, menaces, or gestures, when considered in connection with provoking conduct of the deceased, may constitute adequate provocation. Personal violence or aggression by the deceased of a nature sufficiently violent to cause or threaten to cause pain, bloodshed, or bodily harm to the defendant(s) may be adequate provocation. If a dangerous weapon is involved, heat of passion is required for manslaughter in the first degree by dangerous weapon.
Hopefully, this explanation has assisted you in understanding the crime of Manslaughter in the First Degree and how a Fierce Advocate defends this type of charge.
The statute for Manslaughter in the First Degree is OKLA. STAT. tit. 21 § 711, which states that Homicide is manslaughter in the first degree in the following cases: When perpetrated without a design to effect death by a person while engaged in the commission of a misdemeanor; when perpetrated without a design to effect death, and in a heat of passion, but in a cruel and unusual manner, or by means of a dangerous weapon; unless it is committed under such circumstances as constitute excusable or justifiable homicide, and when perpetrated unnecessarily either while resisting an attempt by the person killed to commit a crime, or after such attempt shall have failed.”
Elements of the Crime
In order to be convicted of Manslaughter in the First Degree in Oklahoma, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are FIERCE ADVOCATES for every client and will hold the government to their burden in your case. In order to be convicted of this crime; the government must prove:
For Manslaughter in the First Degree by Misdemeanor-Manslaughter
1) The death of a human;
2) occurring as a direct result of an act or event which happened in the commission of a misdemeanor;
3) caused by the defendant or a person engaged with the defendant, while in the commission of the misdemeanor;
4) the elements of the specific underlying misdemeanor are alleged to have been in the commission of are met.
Oklahoma Jury Instruction #4-94.
For Manslaughter in the First Degree by Heat of Passion
1) The death of a human;
2) caused by the defendant(s);
3) the death was not excusable or justifiable;
4) the death was inflicted in a cruel and unusual manner;
5) when performing the conduct which caused death, the defendant(s) were in a heat of passion.
4) the death was inflicted by means of a dangerous weapon;
5) when performing the conduct which caused the death, the defendant(s) were in a heat of passion.
The elements for “heat of passion” are:
- A) adequate provocation;
- B) a passion or an emotion such as fear, terror, resentment, anger, or rage existed in the defendant;
- C) the homicide occurred while the passion still existe4d, and before there was reasonable opportunity for the passion to cool;
- D) there was a causal connection between the provocation, passion and the homicide.
Oklahoma Jury Instruction #4-95, 96.
What the Skilled Lawyers at Cannon & Associates Can Do For You
Being charged with Manslaughter in the First Degree in Oklahoma is a serious matter. The Oklahoma criminal defense attorneys at Cannon & Associates are Fierce Advocates for Families and Freedom and will fight for you! At Cannon & Associates, we have extensive criminal defense experience, and will be with you every step of the way. We will take care to explain the issues and options to get you to your desired result and support you in this difficult time.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Criminal Defense
Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for Oklahoma criminal defendants and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight your criminal case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential case evaluation.
Our Client Reviews
MORE 5-STAR REVIEWS REVIEWS THAN 99% of LAWYERS IN OKLAHOMA
"John has shown nothing but compassion and professional guidance in my case. He truly cares about his clients and is exceptionally understanding when it comes to any case he is representing. He communicates genuinely as well as in a timely matter. If I were able to give his firm any more than 5 stars, I most definitely would. He is incredible."
"John Cannon is an awesome attorney. He is very professional and honest. He really cares about his clients. John always gets back to you quickly to answer any questions you have regarding your case. I highly recommend CANNON & ASSOCIATES for any legal needs you may have."
"John Cannon has helped me through the hardest time in my life. He helped me through my divorce and custody case. He truly cares about his clients and it made me so happy he always put my daughter first and wanted what was in her best interest as a child. He is very sharp and resourceful and he has been very attentive and responsive to my needs, John is very polite and professional and he always has a great attitude. John always took the time to go over everything and explain everything in depth. I've enjoyed working with John and his team and would recommend him to other clients."
"I have known John for about 6 years now in his capacity as a Judge Advocate and a civilian attorney. John has a rare blend of both sharp analytical and interpersonal skills. I have seen John achieve positive outcomes for clients in complex scenarios and If you need an attorney who can do the same for you - this is your guy."
"John did a very good job. Although the outcome was not 100% what we expected(strange judgement) it was overall positive. I would, have and will continue to recommended him. Although I certainly hope to not need his services again in the capacity I hired him for I would not hesitate to call if I do. Thanks John"
"I signed up with John June 25th, July 5th I received an email that my case is in line to be DISMISSED, within a 2 week time period John made what was one of the most stressful times in my life better! Every case is different but he handled my case with care and he was extremely open in his communication throughout the whole process. I hope to never have to have a criminal attorney again but if I do I will definitely go back to John. I highly recommend him to anyone else who is needing an attorney!"
"John is a highly respected attorney. Professional and compassionate. He has a wealth of knowledge, being a military officer and having served as an Assistant District Attorney, a Public Defender, and an Assistant Attorney General. He helped a friend's son who was headed down the wrong path, but through John's legal defense the young man is now a successful business owner."
"John is a very professional attorney, who is not only concerned about the welfare of his client but very attentive and considerate of the family, or other bodies that are in the face of the adversity. While working on my family members case, John took time out to take a class that would educate him on how to approach the many different types of cases tried in the court room. John proved his sincerity to the calling of his job, being an attorney. I would definitely recommend him to anyone."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!! John took the reigns and provided us instant peace of mind. He was timely, respectful, transparent, very professional, honest and courteous. The service he provided was above and beyond our expectations. Can’t believe professionals like him are around. Highly highly without reservations recommend him and his team."
"John Cannon is an excellent attorney. He takes sincere interest in your needs. He maintains communication and provides all the information you might want to fully understand the legal process. He also suggests alternative resolutions to your legal needs so that you can make informed choices. I definitely recommend John."
"My experience with CANNON & ASSOCIATES was absolutely amazing. I hired John Cannon two days before my rebuttal statement was due back to the Staff Judge Advocate. Within that time frame he was able to talk to my Battery and Battalion Commanders, review my evidence, and help me write a rebuttal statement that help prove my case to them, the Brigade Commander and the Post Commanding General. Cannon worked thru the night to help me get the best results for me and my family. Due to his hard work and attention to detail I am still able to continue to serve my country and progress in my military career with no adverse actions on my record. I can not thank him enough on a job well done. Cannon showed me that he was invested in my case and I highly recommend you hire him when you need someone to represent you in a legal matter."
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."
"Hands down the best lawyer. Mr.Cannon accepted my case and got on it the same day. I would give him 10 stars if I could. I really appreciate the dedication on how he handles things with a short time frame."
"Mr. Cannon has represented me on 2 criminal cases and one civil case over the past 4 years. He has always served me honestly, speedily and with good moral direction. John has integrity and humility. He has never belittled me or treated me in an unfair manor. I appreciate all that he has done for me and I most certainly recommend him to family, strangers and friends. I will definitely use Mr. Cannon in the future for any and all of my family's legal matters."
"Mr. Cannon went above and beyond for my wife. She was facing some pretty hard fines and prison time with the US Marshalls. Mr. Cannon fought a hard fight and got her a GREAT offer. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him and what he did for my wife. I would give 10 stars and I will be promoting him. He's that awesome. He keeps you informed, he will text or call you back, and he goes above what he is asked to do and I can reassure you"HE WILL FIGHT FOR YOU OR YOUR FAMILY MEMBER". I will continue retaining him for other things my wife is battling. High five and a great big hug to Mr. Cannon. Thank you!!!"
"I had a great experience with John. He is very personable and helped me a lot. I’m really grateful I found him. He made me feel confident that he was the right lawyer for my case and that he wasn’t trying to sell me but genuinely just wanted to help me. I would highly recommend John to anyone!"
"Working with Mr. Cannon has been a real life-saving experience for me and my family. He provides the knowledge of the possibilities as soon as he can get them, then works tirelessly to ensure that any concerns or questions are addressed immediately. He has been a great asset to us not only in the face of legal troubles, but in providing a sense of security that is truly reassuring in the face of the uncertain.Mr. Cannon has been a great resource and has been very patient with me. From the start he provided a list of things to do that would help me help him with my case and since the beginning has continued to give advice or suggestions on any matter that has bothered me with my situation, large or small. He is gentle, yet realistic, and this combination really does become a rock in tumultuous times such as these.I would highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone who needs a vigilant and committed attorney, especially one that stands by your side until your issue is resolved. He goes above and beyond not only to work, but to care for his clients!"
"John Cannon assisted me through a very difficult time in my military career. He worked tirelessly with me on my case and kept me informed during the entire process. I can't say enough good things about Mr. Cannon. He's incredibly knowledgeable with regards to military justice. The outcome of my case was successful and I attribute that to Mr. Cannon's professionalism and expertise in dealing with military law. I highly recommend Mr. Cannon to anyone with military justice or criminal defense needs."