Like murder, manslaughter can be charged in either the first or second degree. For first-degree manslaughter, the most common type of this charge stems from a death that was caused in a “cruel or unusual manner” while in “the heat of passion” and not requiring any preparation or intent to kill. Another form of first-degree manslaughter involves causing the unnecessary death of another person while attempting to prevent that person from committing a crime. Deaths caused during the commission of certain misdemeanors may also carry a charge of first-degree manslaughter. First degree manslaughter carries a minimum punishment of four (4) years in prison with a maximum of life.

Second-degree manslaughter is a statutory catch-all for any killing that results from a specific act or negligence and which is not already characterized by murder, first-degree manslaughter or justifiable/excusable homicide. Generally, these types of charges are brought when someone negligently causes a homicide but not in a cruel or unusual way. One example of second-degree manslaughter is negligently allowing an animal that you own to kill another human. Second-degree manslaughter can carry a punishment which may include two to four (2-4) years in prison.


For more information, see OK ST T. 21 § 711, OK ST T. 21 § 712, OK ST T. 21 § 717.

Read more about Manslaughter in Oklahoma here.

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