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goldmund
05-10-2012, 05:31 PM
This is for a thriller script.

A man got in a fight with another in a bar or someplace. He pushed or knocked the other one so that he hit his head on something and died.

How long a sentence are we talking about here?

alleycat
05-10-2012, 05:37 PM
It's going to vary by state.

In my state it would be a three to six year sentence, although they probably wouldn't actually serve that much time. A person with a first-time conviction would probably receive a lighter sentence and actually serve maybe half the time.

If you need a real expert contact Smish by PM, I'm sure she'd be willing to help you.

Kerosene
05-10-2012, 05:54 PM
I knew a guy that got 10 years. (Oregon)

He was on his own property, with a gun. The other man came at him with an axe and the guy shot him through. Because he wasn't "attacked" he was sentenced with involuntary manslaughter.

Snick
05-10-2012, 08:06 PM
The definition of involuntary manslaughter varies along with the sentences.

jclarkdawe
05-10-2012, 09:46 PM
How long a sentence do you need?

Factors include:


Who swung first?
What started this?
Is the defendant a legal virgin? (i.e., no criminal history)
What's the size difference between the two?
What state?
How drunk?
What's the history of the two? Does one have a reputation of bar fights?

And I can go on. Sentence could range from walking out of court with a not guilty to twenty or more years.


Best of luck,


Jim Clark-Dawe

waylander
05-10-2012, 09:54 PM
How good a lawyer can he afford?

Trebor1415
05-10-2012, 10:33 PM
I agree with the "how long a sentance do you need" idea.

If you know what sentance length you need for your story you can adjust specific story details to create a rationale for a longer or shorter sentance.

(shorter sentance = more mitigating factors in favor of the defense. Longer sentance = the facts "look worse" to the prosecutor/judge/jury than they might really have been based on previous history between the two people, previous criminal record of the character, etc)

The exact sentancing guidelines depend on the state. You likely should be able to find general sentancing guidelines for the state of your story on-line.

goldmund
05-11-2012, 04:28 AM
I don't concentrate on what actually happened; what's important is involuntary manslaughter and being locked for around 4-5 years. I was afraid it would seem improbably low, but from what you said, it could very well happen, and that's all I need!

Thanks a million, you're great.

MaryMumsy
05-11-2012, 05:45 AM
I don't concentrate on what actually happened; what's important is involuntary manslaughter and being locked for around 4-5 years. I was afraid it would seem improbably low, but from what you said, it could very well happen, and that's all I need!

Thanks a million, you're great.

Just make sure it could happen that way in the state you are setting your story in. As has been said, the law varies greatly from state to state.

MM

rugcat
05-11-2012, 06:05 AM
I don't concentrate on what actually happened; what's important is involuntary manslaughter and being locked for around 4-5 years. I was afraid it would seem improbably low, but from what you said, it could very well happen, and that's all I need!

Thanks a million, you're great.Not at all. In a case of "mutual combat" similar to the one you described, even a one year sentence is not unheard of.

I know of one such case in Utah where two young men got into a fight over something stupid, one of them got knocked down, hit his head on the pavement, and died.

There was clearly no intent to kill. One punch was thrown. The survivor pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and served one year.