Voluntary manslaughter is the third most serious offense in the criminal homicide laws of the state of Tennessee. The crime is classified as a Class C felony, and is punishable by between three and fifteen years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

According to Tennessee law, manslaughter is defined as ‘the knowing or intentional killing of another person in a “state of passion” or the heat of the moment’. Some examples of this kind of ‘crime of passion’ could be a husband killing his wife’s lover, or killing someone during the heat of an argument. These cases are never clear cut, and there is always much debate about where to draw the line between murder and manslaughter.

In order to be found guilty of manslaughter charges in Tennessee, the  following must be proven –

  • The defendant unlawfully killed the alleged victim; and
  • The defendant acted intentionally with the conscious knowledge that the violent act could or would cause the death of the alleged victim; and
  • The killing was provoked and happened in the heat of the moment

Only in a case where all three of those circumstances can be proved should a conviction of manslaughter be returned.

If you have been charged with manslaughter in Tennessee, you need to retain qualified council immediately. Gregory P. Issacs is an experienced criminal defense attorney who is ready to work together with you in forming your defense. If you would like a free consultation on your case, please call us today at 865-673-4953.