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Nevada Involuntary Manslaughter Law

A homicide occurs anytime one person takes the life of another, regardless of whether the killing was committed lawfully or unlawfully. However, criminal homicides are divided into different categories depending on the circumstances surrounding the killing. This is done because society generally views some types of killings are being more egregious (e.g. those that are done deliberately and with premeditation) than others (e.g. killings committed unintentionally).

In Nevada, these categories include: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. This article provides a brief overview of Nevada's involuntary manslaughter law.

Voluntary Manslaughter vs. Involuntary Manslaughter

In Nevada, manslaughter is defined as the unlawful killing of a human being without malice (express or implied) and without any mixture of deliberation. The crime of manslaughter is then subcategorized into voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, depending on whether or not the killing was done intentionally.

For a killing to qualify as voluntary manslaughter in Nevada, the killer must have been seriously provoked so that the killing was committed in the heat of passion. Generally, involuntary manslaughter is defined as an unintentional killing that results from recklessness or criminal negligence. The table below outlines Nevada's involuntary manslaughter law.

Code Section

Nevada Code section 200.070: Involuntary Manslaughter

What's Prohibited?

Generally, involuntary manslaughter is the killing of a human being, without any intent to do so, during the commission of:

  • An unlawful act, or
  • A lawful act which was likely to produce such a consequence in an unlawful manner

However, where the involuntary killing occurs during the commission of an unlawful act, which naturally tends to destroy the life of a human being, or is committed in the prosecution of a felonious intent, the offense is murder rather than manslaughter.


A person convicted of involuntary manslaughter is guilty of a category D felony that is punishable by imprisonment for one to four years, and a fine of up to $5,000.

Related Crimes Under Nevada's Homicide Laws

Additional Resources

State laws change frequently. For case specific information regarding Nevada's voluntary manslaughter law contact a local criminal defense lawyer.

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