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Kansas Involuntary Manslaughter Law

In Kansas there are seven criminal homicide offenses: capital murder, first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, vehicular homicide, and assisting suicide. Involuntary manslaughter (also referred to as "criminally negligent homicide" in some states) is a type of criminal homicide. This article provides a brief overview of Kansas' involuntary manslaughter law.

What's the Difference Between Murder and Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is viewed as being a less serious crime than murder because it is done without malice (the intention or desire to kill or cause serious bodily injury). Murder, on the other hand, is considered to be a more serious crime because it is an unlawful killing committed with malice aforethought, under specific circumstances described by each state.

What's the Difference Between Voluntary and Involuntary Manslaughter?

Once it is determined that a killing in Kansas was done without malice, the next big question to ask is whether the homicide should be classified as voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. The answer to this question hinges on whether or not the killing was done intentionally.

If the killing was done intentionally, but the offender didn't previously plan to kill the victim, then the homicide will likely be classified as voluntary manslaughter. However, if the killing was unintentional and resulted from recklessness, or occurred during an unlawful act (that doesn't rise to the level of being an inherently dangerous felony), then the offender has likely committed involuntary manslaughter. The table below outlines Kansas' involuntary manslaughter law.

Code Section

Kansas Statutes section 21-3404: Involuntary Manslaughter

What's Prohibited?

Unintentionally killing a human being:
  • Recklessly,
  • During the commission of, attempt to commit, or flight from any felony or misdemeanor that is enacted to protect human life or safety other than the inherently dangerous felonies listed in section 21-3436, or
  • During the commission of a lawful act in an unlawful manner


Involuntary manslaughter is a severity level 5, person felony.

Vehicular Homicide

Another closely related crime in Kansas' criminal code is vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide is the unintentional killing of a human by operating an automobile, airplane, or other motor vehicle in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury to the person or property of another. In order to be convicted, the offender must materially deviate from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe under the same circumstances.

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information about Kansas' involuntary manslaughter laws contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

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