Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Section 303 of the Criminal Code Act 1899 creates the offence of manslaughter and, quite simply, provides that:
“A person who unlawfully kills another under such circumstances as not to constitute murder is guilty of manslaughter.”
Manslaughter is, in essence, the act of causing another person’s death without the intent to do so (because intentionally killing somebody is an offence called murder). There is, of course, a point at which accidentally causing the death of another is not a criminal offence so the offence of manslaughter normally involves deliberately doing an act which causes death (rather than causing the death through pure accident).
Manslaughter can, in some cases, be committed where a person would otherwise be guilty of murder but because of some provocation, or a legitimate need for self defence, the killing is reduced, as a matter of law, to manslaughter.
Under section 310, manslaughter is punishable by life imprisonment though this is not a mandatory sentence and there are a range of other penalties which can be applied to the offence. In most instances a conviction for manslaughter will result in imprisonment but in some limited circumstances a non-custodial sentence might be imposed, or a sentence of imprisonment might be wholly suspended.
What Actions Might Constitute Manslaughter?
It is common for a charge of manslaughter to be laid where a person deliberately assaults another, without an apparent intention to kill them or to cause them grievous bodily harm, and where that other person dies as a result of the assault.
A common example of the offence is the case of a parent who, in a fit of frustration with their child, throws that child, perhaps against a wall or onto a table, and the throw causes injuries which ultimately kill the child.
There are also less common examples of the offence, committed when a person deliberately neglects a child or other dependant person and they die as a result of, for example starvation or preventable disease.
What the Police Must Prove
In order to convict you of manslaughter it must be proved that you:
- did, or omitted to do, an act which caused the death of another person; and
- the death was caused unlawfully (that is, without a lawful excuse), and
- the circumstances of the death do not amount to murder.
Specifically, the police are not required to prove any intent to kill or do grievous bodily harm in order to establish a charge of manslaughter but they are required to prove what act caused a death and that this act was deliberate.
Possible Defences to Manslaughter
A person charged with manslaughter may validly defend the charge by arguing that:
- they carried out the offence in self-defence;
- they were acting under duress;
- they were too young and insufficiently mature to understand the nature of the act (where the accused is under 14);
- they were mentally impaired.
Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?
A charge of manslaughter will be heard and determined in the Supreme Court.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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