California's Involuntary Manslaughter Law
Penal Code 192 (b) PC

Involuntary manslaughter in California occurs when one person kills another unintentionally, either

  1. while committing a crime that is not an inherently dangerous California felony, OR
  2. while committing a lawful act which might produce death, without due caution.1

Under California Penal Code 192(b), the key feature of California involuntary manslaughter is that it does not require intent to kill another person—unlike Penal Code 187 murder, which requires “malice aforethought.”2

And California's involuntary manslaughter law does not include actions that fit the definition above but involve a car. Those will be charged under California's vehicular manslaughter laws.3

Dr. Conrad Murray , the pop star Michael Jackson's personal physician, is probably California's most famous involuntary manslaughter defendant in recent years.

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for prescribing Jackson a surgical anesthetic that eventually killed him. He received a jail sentence of four (4) years—the maximum penalty for involuntary manslaughter.4

Murray
Dr. Conrad Murray was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for prescribing dangerous painkillers to Michael Jackson.

Examples

Here are some additional examples of behavior that could lead to involuntary manslaughter charges in California:

  • A man steals a bicycle that has been left outside of a store (thus committing the California misdemeanor crime of petty theft). As he is riding away on the bicycle, he strikes a pedestrian who eventually dies of her injuries.
  • During a fight with her husband, a woman retrieves her gun and waves it at him to threaten him (thus violating Penal Code 417 PC, California's brandishing a weapon law). The gun accidentally fires, killing the husband.
  • A farm owner forces his workers to pick vegetables in record-breaking heat. One of them, a pregnant woman, collapses and dies of heatstroke.

Penalties

Involuntary manslaughter is a felony in California law. Potential penalties include

  • Two (2), three (3) or four (4) years in jail, and
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).5

Legal defenses

As a California homicide crime, involuntary manslaughter is punished harshly—and is a serious strike on someone's criminal record. It is worth fighting these charges with all you've got.

Defense

A California criminal defense lawyer could help you bring some of the following legal defenses against Penal Code 192(b) charges:

  • You acted in self-defense / defense of others;
  • The killing was an accident (and not a result of your criminal activity or negligence);
  • There is insufficient evidence to support your conviction; and
  • You were falsely accused.

In order to help you better understand the California crime of involuntary manslaughter, our California criminal defense attorneys will address the following:

1. The Legal Definition of Involuntary Manslaughter

1.1. Involuntary manslaughter based on legal duty

2. Penalties for Penal Code 192(b)

3. Legal Defenses to Involuntary Manslaughter Charges

4. Penal Code 192(b) PC and Related Offenses

4.1. Penal Code 187 murder
4.2. Penal Code 192(a) voluntary manslaughter
4.3. Penal Code 192(c) vehicular manslaughter
4.4. Penal Code 191.5 vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on Legal Definition of a California Felony; Penal Code 187 Murder; California's Vehicular Manslaughter Laws Penal Code 192(c); California Petty Theft Penal Code 484 & 488 PC; Penal Code 417 PC California's Brandishing a Weapon Law; Common Legal Defenses to California Crimes; Self-Defense / Defense of Others as a California Legal Defense; Legal Definition of a California Misdemeanor; Legal Definition of a California Infraction; Penal Code 415 Disturbing the Peace; California's “Felony-Murder Rule”; “Unauthorized Practice of Medicine” in California Business & Professions Code 2052; The Legal Definition of Great Bodily Injury/Harm; California Battery Penal Code 242 PC; Felony (Formal) Probation in California; California's Three Strikes Law; The Legal Defense of Accident in California Criminal Law; Special Circumstances Murder Penal Code 190.2 PC; California Voluntary Manslaughter Penal Code 192(a); and Penal Code 191.5 California's Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated Law.

1. The Legal Definition of Involuntary Manslaughter

The legal definition of involuntary manslaughter consists of the “elements of the crime”—facts that the prosecutor must prove for you to be guilty under Penal Code 192(b) PC.

The elements of California involuntary manslaughter are:

  1. You committed a California infraction, a California misdemeanor, a California crime that is not an inherently dangerous felony, OR a lawful act done in an unlawful manner;
  2. You committed the crime or act with “criminal negligence”; and
  3. Your actions caused another person's death.6
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Let's take a closer look at each of these elements in order to better understand what they mean in practice.

California crime or lawful act in an unlawful manner

California involuntary manslaughter occurs only when the defendant does something wrong—pure freak accidents won't suffice. The wrongful act can be either:

  1. A California infraction (a low-level crime that carries only a fine, such as a traffic violation or Penal Code 415 disturbing the peace);
  2. A California misdemeanor;
  3. A California felony that is not considered “inherently dangerous”; or
  4. An act that is not a crime—but is done in an unlawful manner.7

If you kill someone in the process of committing a felony that IS “inherently dangerous,” you will not be charged with involuntary manslaughter. You will instead be charged with murder under California's “felony-murder rule.”8

Example: Stanley is a faith healer who has no medical license of any kind. Lee, who is suffering from leukemia, comes to him for treatment. Stanley gives Lee regular abdominal massages that he claims will cure the cancer.

In fact, the massages cause Lee to suffer massive internal bleeding, which kills him.

Stanley killed Lee in the process of committing the crime of unauthorized practice of medicine. This is a felony that is not inherently dangerous. Thus, Stanley is charged with PC 192(b) involuntary manslaughter.9

Criminal negligence

Regardless of whether you are charged with involuntary manslaughter based on an underlying crime or an underlying lawful act, the prosecutor must be able to show that you acted with “criminal negligence.”10

Criminal negligence is more than just ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. It occurs only when:

  1. A person acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and
  2. A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk.11

Example: Isabel leaves her four young children home alone when she goes out to a bar. While she is gone, a fire breaks out in her house, killing her youngest child.

Isabel is not guilty of involuntary manslaughter—because her actions were not criminally negligent. The odds of a fire occurring in the house while she was gone were not great, and she could not reasonably have foreseen that death or injury would result from her actions.12

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Caused another person's death

Your act is considered to have “caused” another person's death if their death was the

  • direct,
  • natural, and
  • probable

consequence of your act – AND the death would not have occurred without your act.13

This means that a reasonable person would have had to realize that the death was likely to happen.14

Example: While watching a sports game at a bar, Sam and Jason—who are rooting for different teams—get into an argument.

Thinking it will come off as a silly prank, Sam throws a bowl of peanuts at Jason—thus committing the misdemeanor of California battery.

It turns out that Jason is life-threateningly allergic to peanuts. He has a severe reaction to the peanuts and does not seek treatment quickly enough because he is drunk. He ends up dying at the hospital.

Sam is probably not guilty of involuntary manslaughter, though. This is because Jason's death was not a natural and probable consequence of tossing a bowl of peanuts at someone.

1.1. Involuntary manslaughter based on legal duty

Involuntary manslaughter based on failure to perform a legal duty is a variety of PC 192(b) involuntary manslaughter. It has a slightly different legal definition.15

The elements of involuntary manslaughter/failure to perform a legal duty are:

  1. You had a legal duty to the victim;
  2. You failed to perform that legal duty;
  3. Your failure was criminally negligent; and
  4. Your failure to perform the duty caused the victim's death.16

Whether someone has a “legal duty” to someone else is an issue that is decided by a judge, not a jury, in an involuntary manslaughter case.17

Examples of relationships that give rise to a legal duty are:

  • The parent-child relationship;
  • A paid caretaker's relationship with the person s/he is caring for; and
  • The relationship between two people, one of whom has “assumed responsibility” for the other.18

Ambulance_im

Example: Carol meets Luke at a bar. He then comes back to her house.

Carol knows that Luke is drunk. He tells her he is going to shoot heroin in her bathroom. After he does so, he collapses. Carol drags him outside to her yard and leaves him there before going to sleep. In the morning, he is dead.

By bringing Luke back to her house when he was drunk, and allowing him to use her bathroom to shoot heroin, Carol created a legal duty to Luke. Because she did not seek medical help for him when he collapsed, she is guilty of involuntary manslaughter.19

2. Penalties for Penal Code 192(b)

PC 192(b) involuntary manslaughter is always a felony in California. The potential penalties include:

  • Felony (formal) probation ;
  • Two (2), three (3) or four (4) years in jail; and
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).20

Involuntary manslaughter often triggers a civil lawsuit by the family of the victim as well. When these are successful, involuntary manslaughter defendants can face very large civil judgments.

In addition, if you accidentally kill someone with a firearm or another “dangerous or deadly weapon,” and are found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, then the conviction will be a “strike” offense under California's “three strikes law.”21

3. Legal Defenses to Involuntary Manslaughter Charges

According to Sacramento criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse22:

“When someone dies under any kind of ‘suspicious' circumstances, law enforcement officers and prosecutors are bound to get involved. People want to hold someone responsible. And oftentimes, as a result, they jump to conclusions or rush investigations—leaving innocent people to defend themselves against illegitimate involuntary manslaughter charges.”

Fortunately, there are a variety of legal defenses to California's involuntary manslaughter law that a skilled California criminal defense attorney can present on your behalf. These include:

You acted in self-defense or defense of others

The legal defense of self-defense/defense of others applies when all of the following are true:

  1. You reasonably believed that you or someone else was in imminent danger of being killed, suffering great bodily injury, or being raped, maimed, or robbed;
  2. You reasonably believed that the immediate use of deadly force was necessary to defend against that danger; and
  3. You used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.23

If you can prove all of the above facts, then you are not guilty of Penal Code 192(b) involuntary manslaughter.

Switchblade_im

Example: Paul and Julio get into an argument outside of a nightclub. Paul begins pushing Julio, and Julio fights back.

Then Paul pulls a knife out of his back pocket and lunges toward Julio. Julio manages to wrest the knife out of his hands and, in doing so, stabs Paul in the chest with it. Paul later dies from his injuries.

Julio could probably avoid an involuntary manslaughter conviction by arguing that he acted in self-defense.

The killing was an accident

All cases of involuntary manslaughter are accidents in some sense, because they generally involve situations where the defendant did not mean to kill the victim.

But if the defendant was not engaged in any wrongdoing—was not acting with “criminal negligence”—then the legal defense of accident can apply to involuntary manslaughter charges.24

For the accident defense, you will want to be able to show that you

  1. had no criminal intent to do harm,
  2. were not acting with criminal negligence at the time of the accidental killing, and
  3. were otherwise engaged in lawful activity at the time of the accident.25

There is insufficient evidence to convict you

Sometimes, in what seems like an "open and shut" involuntary manslaughter case, the police make a snap decision regarding the death. They present their case to the prosecutor, who simply buys into the cops' account.

This is just one reason why hiring an experienced California criminal defense lawyer to defend against involuntary manslaughter charges is critical.

Blind_justice

Skilled criminal defense lawyers conduct their own investigations. They invest the time and resources to interview witnesses, reexamine evidence, and consult with independent forensic scientists to uncover what really happened.

You were falsely accused or wrongfully arrested

Similarly, people often falsely accuse others of committing involuntary manslaughter.

Maybe the family members or friends of the “victim” want to minimize his/her role in his/her own death—by blaming it all on someone else. Or maybe somebody wants to take revenge against or otherwise harm the defendant.

In any event, this is another situation where a criminal defense lawyer with experience in homicide cases, who understands the stakes and how important technical details are, can be extremely valuable in fighting involuntary manslaughter charges.

4. Penal Code 192(b) PC and Related Offenses

4.1. Penal Code 187 murder

Penal Code 187 murder is distinguished from manslaughter by one major factor: for a homicide to be murder, there needs to be some sort of “malice aforethought”—typically the intent to kill.26

But if you kill someone by accident when committing a dangerous felony, you will be charged with murder instead of manslaughter, under the “felony-murder rule.”27

Potential prison sentences for a murder conviction can range from fifteen (15) years to life in prison.28

State_prison

Or if the murder qualifies as “special circumstances murder” (for example, if the defendant murdered a witness or police officer, or murdered someone for financial gain), then a murder defendant could even face the California death penalty.29

4.2. Penal Code 192(a) voluntary manslaughter

California voluntary manslaughter, Penal Code 192(a), is a killing that takes place “upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.”30

In other words, as the name implies, a voluntary manslaughter is a killing that is intentional or voluntary—but is punished less harshly than murder because it is the result of the defendant's strong emotions.

Voluntary manslaughter leads to stricter penalties than involuntary manslaughter: a state prison sentence of three (3), six (6) or eleven (11) years,31 plus a “strike” on your record under California's “three strikes law.”32

4.3. Penal Code 192(c) vehicular manslaughter

Penal Code 192(c) vehicular manslaughter is almost identical to the crime of involuntary manslaughter—the only difference is that it can occur only when the defendant is driving a vehicle.33

If you commit vehicular manslaughter with “gross negligence” (similar to the criminal negligence required for involuntary manslaughter), then the crime is called “gross vehicular manslaughter”--and may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the prosecutor's discretion.34

The potential felony sentence is higher than for involuntary manslaughter—two (2), four (4) or six (6) years.35

But if you commit vehicular manslaughter with only “ordinary negligence,” then it is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one (1) year in county jail.36

4.4. Penal Code 191.5 vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
Keys_in_beer_im

If you commit the crime of vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you will be charged under Penal Code 191.5, California's vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated law.37

This offense carries heavier penalties than either involuntary manslaughter or ordinary vehicular manslaughter. If it is committed with gross negligence, it is a felony with a potential sentence of four (4), six (6) or ten (10) years.38

And even if vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is only committed with ordinary negligence, it is still a wobbler with a maximum potential felony sentence of four (4) years.39

Call us for help…

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For questions about Penal Code 192(b) PC involuntary manslaughter, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

For more information on Nevada involuntary manslaughter laws, please see our page on Nevada involuntary manslaughter laws.

Legal References:


1 Penal Code 192 PC – Manslaughter; voluntary, involuntary, and vehicular [involuntary manslaughter law]. (“Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is of three kinds: (b) Involuntary--in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony; or in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection. This subdivision shall not apply to acts committed in the driving of a vehicle.”)

See also People v. Burroughs (1984) 35 Cal.3d 824, 835. (“We agree that the only logically permissible construction of section 192 is that an unintentional homicide committed in the course of a noninherently dangerous felony may properly support a conviction of involuntary manslaughter, if that felony is committed without due caution and circumspection.”)

2 Penal Code 187 PC – Murder [contrast with definition of involuntary manslaughter]. (“(a) Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.”)

3 Penal Code 192(c) PC – Vehicular manslaughter [contrast with involuntary manslaughter law]. (“c) Vehicular-- (1) Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 191.5, driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, and with gross negligence; or driving a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence. (2) Driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, but without gross negligence; or driving a vehicle in the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence. (3) Driving a vehicle in connection with a violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 550, where the vehicular collision or vehicular accident was knowingly caused for financial gain and proximately resulted in the death of any person.”)

4 See Conrad Murray sentenced to four years behind bars [for involuntary manslaughter], CNN.com, Nov. 30, 2011.

5 Penal Code 193 PC – Voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter; punishment. (“ . . . (b) Involuntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.”)

See also Penal Code 672 PC – Fines not otherwise prescribed. (“ Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies, in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.”)

6 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 581 – Involuntary Manslaughter: Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with involuntary manslaughter [in violation of Penal Code section 192(b)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant committed (a crime/ [or] a lawful act in an unlawful manner); 2 The defendant committed the (crime/ [or] act) with criminal negligence; AND 3 The defendant's acts caused the death of another person.”)

7 CALCRIM 581 -- Involuntary Manslaughter: Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)). (“[The People allege that the defendant committed the following crime[s]: <insert misdemeanor[s]/infraction[s])/noninherently dangerous (felony/felonies)>. Instruction[s] tell[s] you what the People must prove in order to prove that the defendant committed<insert misdemeanor[s]/infraction[s])/ noninherently dangerous (felony/felonies)>.]”)

8 CALCRIM 540A - Felony Murder: First Degree - Defendant Allegedly Committed Fatal Act [compare with law on involuntary manslaughter]. ("To prove that the defendant is guilty of first degree murder under this theory, the People must prove that: 1. The defendant committed [or attempted to commit] <insert felony or felonies from Pen. Code, § 189>; 2. The defendant intended to commit <insert felony or felonies from Pen. Code, § 189>; AND 3. While committing [or attempting to commit] , <insert felony or felonies from Pen. Code, § 189> the defendant caused the death of another person. A person may be guilty of felony murder even if the killing was unintentional, accidental, or negligent.")

9 Based on the facts of People v. Burroughs, endnote 1, above.

10 CALCRIM 581 -- Involuntary Manslaughter: Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)), endnote 6, above.

11 CALCRIM 581 -- Involuntary Manslaughter: Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)). (“Criminal negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. A person acts with criminal negligence when: 1 He or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; AND 2 A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk.”)

12 Based on the facts of People v. Rodriguez (1961) 186 Cal.App.2d 433.

13 CALCRIM 581 -- Involuntary Manslaughter: Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)). (“[An act causes death if the death is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act and the death would not have happened without the act. A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes. In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, consider all of the circumstances established by the evidence.] [There may be more than one cause of death. An act causes death only if it is a substantial factor in causing the death. A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor. However, it does not need to be the only factor that causes the death.]”)

14 See same.

15 CALCRIM 582 – Involuntary Manslaughter: Failure to Perform Legal Duty—Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)). (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with involuntary manslaughter [in violation of Penal Code section 192(b)] based on failure to perform a legal duty. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant had a legal duty to <insert name of decedent>; 2 The defendant failed to perform that legal duty; 3 The defendant's failure was criminally negligent; AND 4 The defendant's failure caused the death of <insert name of decedent>.”)

16 See same.

17 CALCRIM 582 – Involuntary Manslaughter: Failure to Perform Legal Duty—Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)), Bench Notes: Legal Duty. (“The existence of a legal duty is a matter of law to be decided by the judge. (Kentucky Fried Chicken v. Superior Court (1997) 14 Cal.4th 814, 819 [59 Cal.Rtpr.2d 756, 927 P.2d 1260]; Isaacs v. Huntington Memorial Hospital (1985) 38 Cal.3d 112, 124 [211 Cal.Rptr. 356, 695 P.2d 653].) The court should instruct the jury if a legal duty exists. (See People v. Burden (1977) 72 Cal.App.3d 603, 614 [140 Cal.Rptr. 282] [proper instruction that parent has legal duty to furnish necessary clothing, food, and medical attention for his or her minor child].) In the instruction on legal duty, the court should use generic terms to describe the relationship and duty owed. For example: A parent has a legal duty to care for a child. A paid caretaker has a legal duty to care for the person he or she was hired to care for. A person who has assumed responsibility for another person has a legal duty to care for that other person.”)

18 See same.

19 Based on the facts of People v. Oliver (1989) 210 Cal.App.3d 138.

20 Penal Code 193 PC – Voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter; punishment, endnote 5, above.

21 Penal Code 1192.7 PC – List of “serious offenses” for purpose of three strikes law. (“(c) As used in this section, “serious felony” means any of the following: . . . (8) any felony [including involuntary manslaughter] in which the defendant personally inflicts great bodily injury on any person, other than an accomplice, or any felony in which the defendant personally uses a firearm; . . . (23) any felony [including involuntary manslaughter] in which the defendant personally used a dangerous or deadly weapon; . . . .”)

22 Sacramento criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse is the managing attorney of Shouse Law Group. Before launching his career in criminal defense, he served for five years as a Deputy DA for Los Angeles County, prosecuting more than 60 criminal trials and earning a phenomenal 96% success rate in felony jury trials. Now he represents criminal defendants in high-stakes cases such as those involving involuntary manslaughter and other homicide crimes.

23 CALCRIM 505 – Justifiable Homicide: Self-Defense or Defense of Another [with respect to acts involving California involuntary manslaughter]. ("The defendant is not guilty of (murder/ [or] manslaughter/attempted murder/ [or] attempted voluntary manslaughter) if (he/she) was justified in (killing/attempting to kill) someone in (self-defense/ [or] defense of another). The defendant acted in lawful (self-defense/ [or] defense of another) if: 1 The defendant reasonably believed that (he/she/ [or] someone else/ [or] <insert name or description of third party>) was in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury [or was in imminent danger of being (raped/maimed/robbed/ <insert other forcible and atrocious crime>)]; 2 The defendant reasonably believed that the immediate use of deadly force was necessary to defend against that danger; AND 3 The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against that danger.")

24 CALCRIM 581 -- Involuntary Manslaughter: Murder Not Charged (Pen. Code, § 192(b)), endnote 6, above.

25 Penal Code 195 PC – Excusable homicide [including involuntary manslaughter]. (“Homicide is excusable in the following cases: [1] When committed by accident and misfortune, or in doing any other lawful act by lawful means, with usual and ordinary caution, and without any unlawful intent.”)

26 Penal Code 187 PC – Murder [contrast with definition of involuntary manslaughter], endnote 2, above.

27 CALCRIM 540A - Felony Murder: First Degree—Defendant Allegedly Committed Fatal Act [compare with law on involuntary manslaughter], endnote 8, above.

28 Penal Code 190 PC – Punishment for murder [compare to punishment for involuntary manslaughter].

29 Penal Code 190.2 PC – California's special circumstances murder law.

30 Penal Code 192 PC – Manslaughter; voluntary, involuntary, and vehicular [voluntary and involuntary manslaughter law]. (“Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is of three kinds: (a) Voluntary--upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. . . .”)

31 Penal Code 193 PC – Voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter; punishment. (“(a) Voluntary manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 3, 6, or 11 years.”)

32 Penal Code 1192.7 PC – List of “serious offenses” for purpose of three strikes law. (“(c) As used in this section, “serious felony” means any of the following: (1) Murder or voluntary manslaughter; . . . .”)

33 CALCRIM 592 – Gross Vehicular Manslaughter (Pen. Code § 192(c)(1)) [compare to elements of involuntary manslaughter]. (“To prove that the defendant is guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant (drove a vehicle/operated a vessel); 2 While (driving that vehicle/operating that vessel), the defendant committed (a/an) (misdemeanor[,]/ [or] infraction[,]/ [or] otherwise lawful act that might cause death); 3 The defendant committed the (misdemeanor[,]/ [or] infraction[,]/ [or] otherwise lawful act that might cause death) with gross negligence; AND 4 The defendant's grossly negligent conduct caused the death of another person.”)

34 Penal Code 193 PC – Vehicular manslaughter; punishment [compare to punishment for involuntary manslaughter]. (“(c) Vehicular manslaughter is punishable as follows: (1) A violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable either by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years. (2) A violation of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year. (3) A violation of paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 192 is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years.”)

35 See same.

36 See same.

37 Penal Code 191.5 PC – Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated [compare with elements of involuntary manslaughter under Penal Code 192(b)]. (“(a) Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence. (b) Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, but without gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence. (c)(1) Except as provided in subdivision (d), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in violation of subdivision (a) is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years. (2) Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in violation of subdivision (b) is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months or two or four years.”)

38 See same.

39 See same.

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