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Georgia, like all states, maintains its own set of laws that govern how it approaches various crimes. Even very serious crimes that classify as felonies may carry different definitions and penalties in neighboring states. One charge that is frequently misunderstood is involuntary manslaughter. So, what exactly is involuntary manslaughter?

You may be familiar with the term from many law enforcement T.V. shows or courtroom dramas. Often, it is in the context of an attorney and prosecutor negotiating greater or lesser charges for a crime where someone has died. The attorney may report to his or her client, "I've got good news — the prosecution agreed to reduce the charges to involuntary manslaughter," at which point the defendant may express that this still seems pretty bad, right?

While these kinds of deals do actually happen, they do not reflect what those charges actually mean. In Georgia, involuntary manslaughter exists when one person kills another person without known malice, generally doing something that legal to do, but possibly in a way that is not legal. This might mean operating dangerous equipment without proper safety precautions, or very commonly, driving while intoxicated. It is important to note that involuntary manslaughter charges regularly result in two separate trials. A person may be acquitted of criminal charges but still face a wrongful death suit by the decedent's survivors.

If you or anyone you know faces manslaughter charges, you need experienced legal representation as soon as possible. With proper guidance by an experienced attorney, you can ensure that your rights remain secure while you fight for your freedom and your future.

Source: findlaw, "Georgia Involuntary Manslaughter Laws," accessed April 25, 2017

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