Involuntary Manslaughter

by: Maylene LaPress

What is it?

Involuntary manslaughter is the killing of someone where the killer had no intention to kill the victim.


A person who is driving under the influence and hits a pedestrian so hard that it kills them would be considered involuntary manslaughter. The person driving had no intent to kill the person but because their judgement is impaired, it led them to kill the person.

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New Hampshire's Law

I. A person is guilty of a class B felony when he causes the death of another negligently.
II. A person is guilty of a class A felony when in consequence of being under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled drug or any combination of intoxicating liquor and controlled drug while operating a propelled vehicle, as defined in RSA 637:9, III or a boat as defined in RSA 265-A:1, II, he or she causes the death of another.
III. In addition to any other penalty imposed, if the death of another person resulted from the negligent driving of a motor vehicle, the court may revoke the license or driving privilege of the convicted person for up to 7 years. In cases where the person is convicted under paragraph II, the court shall revoke the license or driving privilege of the convicted person indefinitely and the person shall not petition for eligibility to reapply for a driver's license for at least 7 years. In a case in which alcohol was involved, the court may also require that the convicted person shall not have a license to drive reinstated until after the division of motor vehicles receives certification of installation of an ignition interlock device as described in RSA 265-A:36, which shall remain in place for a period not to exceed 5 years.

Cited RSA's:

RSA 637:9; RSA 265-A:1; RSA 265-A:36

The New Hampshire law says that a person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when he or she causes the death of another negligently. A person is also considered guilty of this crime if he or she causes death to another while operating a car or propelled vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol or the combination of drugs and alcohol. This could cause the driver to have his or her license revoked.