What is Involuntary Manslaughter?
Involuntary manslaughter is when you accidentally kill somebody either through the commission of a dangerous act or in the commission of an unlawful act not amounting to a felony.
If the offense amounts to a felony, then the felony murder rule would probably take over. An example of involuntary manslaughter is a case involving Michael Jackson’s doctor. The doctor prescribed Propofol, a very dangerous drug, to Michael Jackson.
There didn’t appear to be a medical reason for it, and Michael Jackson wasn’t properly supervised and the singer died after overdosing.
The doctor was charged with involuntary manslaughter. It is clear that the doctor never intended to hurt or kill Michael Jackson, but he did something that was unlawful and dangerous, and death occurred as a result of that.
The idea behind involuntary manslaughter is that it’s understood that you never intended to hurt or kill the person, but you were doing something that you should not have been doing and in the course of that, somebody died.
Involuntary manslaughter is a serious crime and if you’re convicted, you could face up to four years in California state prison.