Manslaughter – s 18 Crimes Act (NSW)

Facing a serious charge of manslaughter is daunting for the accused person and family. Our Criminal Defence Lawyers have over 20 years experience in being expert leaders in this field. They hold an exceptional track record of getting charges dropped early, and proving their clients innocence in court.

Your Options in Court

You will be not guilty to manslaughter if police are unable to prove each of the following elements, beyond a reasonable doubt, in court:

  • The victim died; and
  • Your actions or omission caused the death; and
  • Your actions were:
    • Provoked, or excessive self defence, substantial impairment; or
    • Fell short of fulfilling your duty of care i.e. Professional negligence, breach of doctors professional duty to patient; or
    • Unlawful and dangerous. i.e. Where a reasonable person would consider your actions to expose others to risk of serious injury.

To be guilty of manslaughter, the police do not need to prove you intended to kill or cause serious and permanent disfiguring.

Your charge will be dismissed, and you will be found not guilty, if police are unable to prove each of the elements of your offence noted above.

Defences to this charge

You will be Not Guilty if:

  • Self defence: You acted in self defence for yourself, or another person.
  • Causation: Your conduct wasn’t the substantial contributor to the death, or the death was caused by an intervening event as the sole cause of death.
  • Mental illness: your mental illness i.e. Schizophrenia caused you to not know the nature and quality of your actions, or you didn’t know whether it was wrong at the time.
  • Automatism: An external factor caused you to behave involuntarily. i.e. Seizure, sleep walking from medication.
  • Duress or Necessity: you acted to avoid serious harm, or you acted out of threat or coercion.
  • Intoxication: Where you involuntarily consumed alcohol or drugs which caused you to be incapable of forming an intention to act in a way the law considers unlawful and dangerous.

Your manslaughter charge will be dismissed in court if any of those defences apply to you.

With the right tactful approach, an experienced criminal defence lawyer can maximise your chances at getting your charges dropped early, and securing you a not guilty verdict in court. Speak to our team of senior lawyers for realistic guidance and some peace of mind on the best defence to your case.

It’s critical to first speak to a criminal defence lawyer before pleading guilty to manslaughter. If you decide to plead guilty, see the below highly important tips on how to best prepare your case, to maximise your chances at the most lenient outcome possible.

25% Discount on punishment

Pleading guilty at the earliest possible time in your case will land you a 25% discount off your punishment, resulting in a more lenient outcome from the Judge.

Pleading guilty later, will reduce this discount, which is why its critical to get early experienced advice for your manslaughter charge.

Good character references

Getting letters from people you know for the Judge to read about who you really are can result in a more lenient outcome.

Letters can come from family, friends, work, charity and letter of apology from you, each expressing your good character, insight, remorse, and shame. Our lawyers can guide you.

Negotiate to drop charges

Your manslaughter charge can be dropped by analysing the police evidence, and carefully yet tactfully negotiating with police, by pointing out all the holes in the case.

Our team of senior lawyers specialise in doing this, holding an exceptional, proven, track record in achieving this countless times for over two decades.

Negotiate facts

By picking out the holes in the police evidence, you can use this to negotiate the police set of facts the Judge will read. This can be changed to reflect you in a more favourable light, usually giving a better outcome by the Judge.

The set of facts is usually initially drafted by police, expressing the details of what you plead guilty to. It can be one sided, reflecting you in the worst possible light for the Judge to read. This can result in a much heavier punishment. Our senior lawyers often successfully change this document before it can be handed to the Judge to read.

Psychologist reports

Your outcome can be significantly improved with a more lenient result, simply by getting a court report from a highly experienced and respected psychologist or psychiatrist for the Judge to read.

For best chances at this occurring, the report should express opinions on your mental state, explanation for your conduct, remorse, insight and shame. Our senior lawyers will carefully select the best suited expert for your case..

Maximum penalty

The maximum punishment for an offence of manslaughter is 25 years imprisonment. This is rarely given, and only given to the most serious offenders.

Our senior lawyers specialise in manslaughter cases, with an emphasis on negotiating, and powerfully presenting your case in court. With the perfect preparation, and strong presentation of your case, you can maximise your chances at even avoiding a prison sentence.

Types of penalties

Based on the above tips, the way you prepare, and present your case to the Judge, the Court can give you any one of the following types of punishment:

  1. Section 10 Dismissal
  2. Conditional Release Order
  3. Fine
  4. Community Correction Order
  5. Intensive Correction Order
  6. Full Time Imprisonment

Call our team of criminal defence lawyers for realistic and practical advice on your manslaughter charge. Our senior lawyers specialise in manslaughter cases with over 20 years experience in achieving exceptional results.