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Idaho Voluntary Manslaughter Law

Sometimes anger takes over and all common sense is thrown out the window. Making decisions under this clouded judgment can lead to dire situations depending on the circumstances. Under Idaho voluntary manslaughter laws, an unlawful killing that would otherwise be classified as murder can be reduced to this lesser homicide crime under certain specific situations. This is a quick summary of voluntary manslaughter in Idaho.

Killings That Qualify As Idaho Voluntary Manslaughter

In Idaho, a homicide is considered voluntary manslaughter if the killing occurs during a sudden quarrel or a heat of passion. If a reasonable person under the same exact circumstances would have been enraged to the point where killing a person would have been a common response, then a charge of voluntary manslaughter is usually appropriate. Generally, voluntary manslaughter carries less jail time and fewer fines than that of murder.

The following table outlines the specifics of Idaho voluntary 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 voluntary manslaughter under Idaho laws if the killing is upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion. This includes the killing of any human embryo or fetus.


Under Idaho voluntary manslaughter laws, this crime is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000, by up to 15 years in the custody of the state board of correction, or by 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.

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

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