First Degree and Second Degree Manslaughter:
Oklahoma Manslaughter Crimes are very serious criminal charges. Oklahoma defines manslaughter under Title 21 § 74-711 & 716. Both first and second degree involve unintentional killing of another person. First degree falls under § 711. This includes the killing of someone due to the heat of passion, cruelly, or while in commission of another crime. So as in the case above, the defendant was driving under the influence when the wreck and subsequent death occurred. This is how first degree Oklahoma Manslaughter Crimes are defined.
Conversely, second degree is differentiated by intent. Under §716, the intent is more of a result of negligent action rather than reckless or intentional action that results in an accidental death. This is basically catches anything related to homicides that is not first degree manslaughter or murder charges. There is no justifiable defense for second degree manslaughter. So, defense of another cannot be a defense to the crime.
Penalties For Oklahoma Manslaughter Crimes:
Oklahoma law considers first and second degree manslaughter felony crimes. Generally, first degree manslaughter comes with a penalty of 4 years imprisonment minimum. No maximum term limit exists. Further, you must serve 85% of a first degree sentence before eligibility for probation or parole if certain conditions exist that require you serve 85%. Second degree is less stringent. You may receive a 2-4 year sentence in the State penitentiary. If you serve your sentence in the county jail, you could have a sentence up to one year and a fine of $1,000.
We Know How to Help With Criminal Charges
Let our Tulsa criminal attorneys know if you are facing manslaughter charges. There is a significant difference in a first and second degree conviction. Having a charge on your record like this can haunt you for years even after you have completed the steps of your punishment. Let us help you through the legal processes, while working to absolve you.