Murder & Manslaughter
Murder and voluntary manslaughter are very closely related. Both crimes involve an intent to kill. The difference between the two is that murder requires malice, that is, a willful and wanton disregard for human life. Voluntary manslaughter does not.
And although a murder charge may be reduced to manslaughter when there is substantial evidence of provocation in a "heat of passion" or "sudden quarrel" situation, manslaughter may be charged on its own when the prosecution doesn't believe it can establish murder.
Prosecutors rarely file Penal Code 192 (a) voluntary manslaughter as a separate charge. The offense usually comes up in a murder charge, where the accused admits to killing the victim, but seeks to have the charge reduced to manslaughter.
If the charge is reduced to manslaughter, the defendant faces a maximum of 11 years in prison where as in a murder charge he faces a potential life sentence or sometimes execution.
The significance of attempted murder to voluntary manslaughter law is that if you are charged with attempted murder, your attorney could seek to have the charge reduced to the lesser offense of attempted voluntary manslaughter.
This would be the case if there is evidence that you had an intent to kill but didn't have the malice necessary to constitute murder.
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