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Idaho Involuntary Manslaughter Law

Generally, a charge of murder or voluntary manslaughter requires that a person intends to kill the victim. If intent to kill is not present, then the slaying of any human being may be reduced to involuntary manslaughter.

Idaho involuntary manslaughter tends to be accomplished in three typical situations. This is a quick summary of Involuntary Manslaughter in Idaho.

The Misuse of Deadly Weapons and The Idaho Involuntary Manslaughter

One way for a killer to qualify for Idaho involuntary manslaughter is when the person carelessly causes the death of another human being when using a deadly weapon. This commonly occurs when a gun owner's weapon accidentally discharges while cleaning it or when the owner successfully fires a weapon that he thinks is unloaded. Although the killer's negligence is the direct cause of the victim's death, the lack of intent to kill can lessen a charge from murder to involuntary manslaughter.

The following table outlines the specifics of Idaho Involuntary Manslaughter law.

Code Sections

Idaho Statutes §18-4006: Manslaughter Defined

What's Prohibited?

Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice. It is considered involuntary manslaughter under Idaho laws if a death occurs:

  • In the perpetration of or attempt to perpetrate any unlawful act (unless it qualifies as felony murder); or

  • In the commission of a lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and circumspection; or

  • In the operation of any firearm or deadly weapon in a reckless, careless or negligent manner.

This includes the killing of any human embryo or fetus.


Under Idaho involuntary manslaughter laws, this crime is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, by up to 10 years in the custody of the state board of correction, or both.

Self Defense

Homicide is justifiable when committed by any person in either of the following cases:

  • When resisting any attempt to murder by any person; or,

  • When committed in defense of habitation, property or person, against one who intends to commit a felony; or,

  • When committed in the lawful defense of yourself or a loved one when there is reasonable ground a felony or some great bodily injury and imminent danger will occur; or,

  • When committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed.

Homicide can also be excused when committed by accident or misfortune.

Acts involving the death of another human being are extremely grave situations. It is important that you fully understand the extent of your charges and all of your rights. If you have been accused of involuntary manslaughter and require legal assistance, you can contact an Idaho criminal defense lawyer through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on involuntary manslaughter and criminal charges for more articles and information on this topic.

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