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No matter which state you reside in, physical conduct that leads to death will be dealt with with the same resolve as any other crime. In this respect, Arizona also has laws in place that govern manslaughter.
According to Arizona laws, in short, the definition of manslaughter is when a person recklessly causes, or is involved with, the death of another individual.
Specifically, the statute governing manslaughter is known as ARS 13-1103. Under this statute, the Manslaughter charge is a broad term that involves a variety of situations that can lead to the crime. Manslaughter can include assisted suicide, knowingly causing death in response to provocation, knowingly killing a person due to a threat, or using deadly force when less deadly reasonable methods could have been used.
The amount of prison time for manslaughter is significant under Arizona law. This is why it is important to have the best defense lawyer representation for your manslaughter charges.
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Arizona Self Defense Laws for Manslaughter Charges
Defining ARS 13-1103 – Manslaughter under Arizona Law
Manslaughter can include recklessly causing the death of another person. In order for manslaughter to be determined as reckless, it must be proven that the individual was aware of the risk that death could result and that they ignored that risk. When a risk is involved, it is not just any risk. In fact, it is a serious risk that involves a person deviating from normal conduct often seen among people who are reasonable.
In Arizona, manslaughter can also be established by the reckless use of a vehicle, such as if a defendant is under the influence while driving and kill someone. This situation would accurately classify as a vehicular manslaughter charge.
Even though a charge of Manslaughter has major consequences, it is considered to be less severe as compared to other similar charges, like murder.
The criminal defense lawyers at Colburn Hintze Maletta would be able to work to reduce a murder charge to manslaughter instead. If it can be established as manslaughter and that it was justified, then the sentence would be less severe.
Penalties for Manslaughter Charges in Arizona
When you are facing a serious charge like manslaughter, it is imperative to have the best defense attorney available in Arizona. When you do, you will have a fighting chance against a severe penalty for the crime.
In fact, the penalties for a first-time class-2 felony manslaughter charge can be a minimum prison term of seven (7) years or a maximum prison term of 21 years.
The sentence can be increased if the individual has previous felonies.
Defending Against Manslaughter Charges
Defending manslaughter charges can be difficult. However, when you have an attorney such as Dave Maletta, Tim Hintze, and Darin Colburn who are well experienced and handling these situations, then you will have much greater odds of being defended successfully. This success will stem from proving that recklessness was not the driving force that the charge requires. This proof can show that there was no disregard for the risk involved with the action.
A defense of supervening cause can be used when another person can be determined as the one causing the death. An example of this is when a patient dies in surgery after being hit by her car.
When a case involves manslaughter, a variety of methods are used to collect evidence. Some of these methods involve the reconstruction of crime scenes, analyzing fingerprints, testing DNA, and testing residue from guns. The defense attorney representing you should be able to find any flaws that the testing may have so that a stronger defense can be created. These tests may also show inaccurate work that was done by the police.
Self-Defense Justification to Manslaughter Charges
When defending yourself, there are laws where you are permitted to use physical force under the self-defense laws in Arizona.
According to the self-defense laws in Arizona, conduct resulting in death is justified when it is immediately necessary to protect oneself against another’s use or attempted use of unlawful deadly physical force.
The law governing self-defense is not applicable for those who take part in a provocation through words or are attempting to resist arrest, regardless of the arrest being unlawful, except if the force of the arrest by the officer is excessive in nature.
Self-defense also does not apply to conduct in response to provocation when the provoker has stopped their provocation or withdrawn. It is also not valid when the intent is clear that an individual is leaving but a safe withdrawal is not possible.
Besides the justification defense methods above, there are also other situations where deadly force can be used in order to prevent a crime, such as the below:
- Sexual assault
- Armed robbery
- Molestation of a child
- Sexual Misconduct
Under ARS 13-411, the Castle Doctrine permits the occupants to use reasonable force in order to protect themselves and to remain where they are legally authorized to be.
This doctrine permits deadly force in the event that an intruder has made their way inside to cause harm or damage.
Arizona Stand Your Ground Law
Other self-defense doctrines in Arizona include a defense known as the Stand Your Ground. What this means is that Arizona’s self-defense justification law does not require you to retreat when responding to a threat of deadly violence. An example is under ARS 13-411.
An individual can defend themself if the altercation was not begun by them and they responded in order to prevent injury or being killed.
Implementing Self-Defense During Domestic Violence
Self-defense laws in Arizona can apply to domestic violence offenses. A great example of this is if a woman in Arizona kills her husband with a gun. The prosecution will likely state that the fight occurred due to the purchase of the gun.
However, the defense will likely use a justification defense stating that she was protecting herself because of the continuous amount of domestic violence she endured throughout the marriage. This would make her conduct to defend herself reasonable under the circumstances.
The “Reasonable Person” Standard
Under this standard, it is commonly referred to as a person who uses caution to conduct actions that are reasonable.
When this justification defense is used, the defendant needs to prove that their defense was used within reason or when fear was presumed.
The deciding factor will be the burden of proof that the prosecution must now prove in order for them to have more than reasonable doubt.
Arizona Charges Surrounding Self-defense
When you have acted in self-defense, you must invoke your right to silence and decline to answer any questions concerning the circumstances prior to talking to your attorney first. Having an attorney to talk to first is a constitutional right so that self-incrimination can be avoided.
Even though it is your right to act in self-defense, this does not mean you will not be charged. However, you may not be convicted if your actions were justified by self-defense.
All cases involving a justification defense, stand-your-ground doctrine, or self-defense laws in Arizona have a certain number of details that need to be proven in order to justify an act of self-defense. It is also needed to establish that your fear was reasonable and that the amount of force used was reasonable.
Your defense should include all of the history leading up to the injury or death occurring to determine a historical record concerning violence or if there was a connection between the parties involved. When the parties do not know each other, then there will be a higher chance that innocence will prevail.
No matter what, reasonable doubt must be established for charges dropped and acquittal to be awarded by a jury.
For convictions to stick, the prosecution must prove a reckless act took place that led to manslaughter and that the accused felt an indifference toward other human life.
Your defense team will perform a thorough investigation in order to have a solid justification defense.
Speak with Professional Defense Attorneys Now & Secure Your Rights
When you are facing manslaughter charges, you need an absolute dream team of attorneys and paralegals whose sole mission is to work tirelessly to secure your freedom.
Colburn Hintze Maletta is an award-winning and ranked best criminal defense law firm well-known in the legal community all over Arizona for its tenacity and dedication inside and outside of the courtroom. Clients love us, and prosecutors fear us. When you become a client of CHM Law, we provide the best amount of representation to achieve the victory you seek. Give us a call now at (602) 825-2500 so we can get to work on your defense.
Timothy Hintze is a well-respected and aggressive trial lawyer having represented clients in courts throughout the state of Arizona. He has litigated hundreds of criminal matters ranging from complex felony cases to misdemeanor offenses, as well as a dedicated advocate for family law clients. Tim was also awarded the distinction of being named a Super Lawyers Rising Star and selected by the National Trial Lawyers Association as a Top 40 Under 40 Attorney.
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Real Client Reviews
Below are just a few of what our clients have to say!
“He fights for his clients like no one I have ever seen”
David Maletta is the absolute best trial attorney in the state of Arizona. He is a kind, emphatic, and extremely patient person. As an attorney, he is prepared, aggressive, and extremely skilled. He is not afraid to go to trial and fight for his clients, like other attorneys that just plead their clients to the original charges. When he is in trial, he flips a switch and goes from a nice guy to a killing machine. He fights for his clients like no one I have ever seen. Watching him do a cross-examination is exhilarating because he is so good it’s scary.
Patricia Bevins - Google Review
“I would give them more stars, but the option is not there”
Best divorce lawyers in Arizona, hands down. Timothy Hintz handled my divorce, and as a father, I have my son and our house. I would give them more stars, but the option is not there. His paralegal Jennifer Bone is extremely competent, and the whole team is very friendly. Took a big weight off, having them behind me.
Joseph A. - Google Review
“I still have a clean record to this day.”
One piece of advice for people who are charged with anything in Arizona is to hire a great lawyer because the state does not care if you’re innocent or not. The Arizona legal system will try to ruin your life. A couple of years ago I was the victim of an antisemitic hate crime when a guy named Billy, who had a history of drug and alcohol issues and was thrown out of the Navy for being violent, decided to attack me after drinking all day in Old Town (Sunday funday) over a pointless argument over whether it’s better to buy homes immediately post-recession or during the 10th year of a bull market run which was his argument. The disagreement led to Billy making several anti-semitic comments and assaulting me, which led to me beating up billy. Billy and his friends then went to the police and lied to try to get me thrown in jail for months for assault while getting 10s of thousands of dollars in restitution in the process. I hired David Maletta. We went to court and destroyed Billy and his best friend/roommate Taylor who were trying to extort me and ruin my life. In Arizona there is a 3.5% chance you’ll get all charges dropped because of how hard the state is on crime but we pulled it off and I still have a clean record to this day.
MJ Walsh - Google Review
“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”
I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.
Jacob - AVVO Review
“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”
Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!
Chris - AVVO Review
“Very professional, very empathetic, and very responsive to all the issues.”
I had the opportunity to work with Darin during a very troublesome time in my life. As a family attorney, I found him to be very professional, very empathetic, and very responsive to all the issues I faced. I would recommend him to anyone without a second thought. Thank you, Darin!
Gary C. - Google Review
“The calm in the middle of my storm…”
I recently consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again. However, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.
Frank - AVVO Review
“Nothing but good things to say about my experience.”
I have nothing but good things to say about my experience working with David Maletta. I was in a very high-stress situation facing a pending DUI charge. He doesn’t know this, but I actually interviewed 5 potential lawyers, and he was the most optimistic of all of them. He took over and handled everything, and now I don’t have to live with a DUI. Thank you so much for everything! Highly recommend them to anyone looking for legal help.
Lauren Koontz - Google Review
“Listens to every request that you make on a case”
I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.
Ben - AVVO Review
“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”
Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.
Gregory - AVVO Review
“This was the best possible outcome, great price, and fast.”
Darin helped me with a complex family law issue involving ownership of multiple businesses and other assets. He was able to structure a win-win that wasn’t only better than I thought was possible but that protected the business I had built. Above and beyond that, he did it with great customer service and character – which really matters to me. This was the best possible outcome, great price, and fast.
David R. - Google Review
“David was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence”
We retained David Maletta to represent our son after being cited for what can only be described as a momentary lapse of reason. David was extremely knowledgeable, was able to clearly communicate very complicated concepts, and was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence. He had strong relationships with the prosecuting attorney and respect of the judge, which ultimately resulted in my son learning a really hard lesson with limited consequences (traffic school and writing an essay to the judge on the physics of driving 130MPH and what happens if that goes badly). I have already sent all of my friends with teenage and 20 year old kids his contact information for when they inevitably get that call. David completely exceeded all of our expectations and we could not recommend him any stronger. Thank you for everything.