The maximum penalty for an offence of manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary, is 25 years imprisonment pursuant to section 24 of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
In New South Wales, there are two forms of manslaughter, namely:
- Voluntary manslaughter – A person’s culpability will be reduced to manslaughter where the act is a voluntary act sufficient to constitute murder but a defense to murder establishes that the person had no prior intention to commit the murder and the killing occurred in the “heat of passion” such as excessive self-defence, substantial abnormality of the mind or provocation.
- Involuntary manslaughter – A charge of involuntary manslaughter will be made when it is established that there was no intention to cause the death of the victim, but the conduct of the accused amounts to gross negligence, an unlawful or dangerous act which carries an appreciable risk of serious injury, or an intention to injure.
If any of the above elements are not proven beyond reasonable doubt then you will not be found guilty of murder.
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