OREGON MANSLAUGHTER AND HOMICIDE LAWS
OREGON MANSLAUGHTER GUIDE


David N Lesh
Oregon Manslaughter Defense Attorney
Oregon Super Lawyer 2018 and 2019

Call today to speak with Mr. Lesh about your case 
(503) 546-2928
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2019 GUIDE TO MANSLAUGHTER CHARGES IN THE STATE OF OREGON

Manslaughter in the First Degree commonly known as Man. I or Man. One

Manslaughter in the Second Degree commonly known as Man. II or Man. Two

Criminally Negligent Homicide

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide

What happens after an arrest for manslaughter in Oregon?

Manslaughter in the first degree, manslaughter in the second degree, aggravated vehicular homicide, and criminally negligent homicide are all serious felony charges.  These charges nearly always result in the defendant being booked into custody and given a court date on the next business day.  Manslaughter charges and aggravated vehicular homicide typically have high bail amounts (typically $250,000 or higher).  Criminally negligent homicide usually has a lower, but still significant, bail amount.  If you are able to post bail make sure you abide by any release conditions.

 

What are the differences between these manslaughter / homicide crimes?

 

Oregon law defines the various ways in which criminal homicide is committed.  The table below provides a helpful summary of Oregon law.

 

 

CHARGE CLASSIFICATION HOW COMMITTED
Criminally Negligent Homicide

ORS 163.145
Class B Felony

Crime Seriousness 9 if death is result of a DUII driver.

Causing the death of another human being with criminal negligence.

Manslaughter in the Second Degree

ORS 163.125
Class B Felony

Ballot Measure 11
75 months minimum sentence

Causing the death of another human being when:

      (a) The act is committed recklessly; or

      (b) The person intentionally causes or aids another person to commit suicide; or

      (c) The person, with criminal negligence, causes the death of a child under 14 years of age or a dependent person, as defined in ORS 163.205, and:

      (A) The person has previously engaged in a pattern or practice of assault or torture of the victim or another child under 14 years of age or a dependent person; or

      (B) The person causes the death by neglect or maltreatment, as defined in ORS 163.115.

Manslaughter in the First Degree

ORS 163.118
Class A Felony

Ballot Measure 11
120 months minimum sentence
Causing the death of another human being when:

      (a) The act is committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or

      (b) The act is committed intentionally by a defendant under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance as provided in ORS 163.135, which constitutes a mitigating circumstance reducing the homicide that would otherwise be murder to manslaughter in the first degree and need not be proved in any prosecution; or

      (c) A person recklessly causes the death of a child under 14 years of age or a dependent person, as defined in ORS 163.205, and:

      (A) The person has previously engaged in a pattern or practice of assault or torture of the victim or another child under 14 years of age or a dependent person; or

      (B) The person causes the death by neglect or maltreatment, as defined in ORS 163.115; or

      (d) The act is committed recklessly or with criminal negligence by a person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010 and:

      (A) The person has at least three previous convictions for driving while under the influence of intoxicants under ORS 813.010, or its statutory counterpart in any jurisdiction, in the 10 years prior to the date of the current offense; or

      (B)(i) The person has a previous conviction for any of the crimes described in subsection (2) of this section, or their statutory counterparts in any jurisdiction; and

      (ii) The victim’s serious physical injury in the previous conviction was caused by the person driving a motor vehicle.

      (2) The previous convictions to which subsection (1)(d)(B) of this section applies are:

      (a) Assault in the first degree under ORS 163.185;

      (b) Assault in the second degree under ORS 163.175; or

      (c) Assault in the third degree under ORS 163.165.

      (3) Manslaughter in the first degree is a Class A felony.

      (4) It is an affirmative defense to a charge of violating:

      (a) Subsection (1)(c)(B) of this section that the victim was a dependent person who was at least 18 years of age and was under care or treatment solely by spiritual means pursuant to the religious beliefs or practices of the dependent person or the guardian of the dependent person.

      (b) Subsection (1)(d)(B) of this section that the defendant was not under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the conduct that resulted in the previous conviction.

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide

ORS 163.149
Class A Felony

Ballot Measure 11
240 months minimum sentence

Causing the death of another human being with criminal negligence, recklessly or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by a person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants in violation of ORS 813.010 and:

      (a) The person has a previous conviction for any of the crimes described in subsection (2) of this section, or their statutory counterparts in any jurisdiction; and

      (b) The victim’s death in the previous conviction was caused by the person driving a motor vehicle.

      (2) The previous convictions to which subsection (1) of this section applies are:

      (a) Manslaughter in the first degree under ORS 163.118;

      (b) Manslaughter in the second degree under ORS 163.125; or

      (c) Criminally negligent homicide under ORS 163.145.

      (3) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant was not under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the conduct that resulted in the previous conviction.

 

 

What is meant by the term "criminal negligence?"

 

Criminal negligence” or “criminally negligent,” when used with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, means that a person fails to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that the failure to be aware of it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. ORS 161.085(10).

 

What is meant by the term "recklessly?"

 

Recklessly,” when used with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense, means that a person is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.  ORS 161.085(9).

 

Both the terms "criminal negligence" and "recklessly" are "mental states" which refers to the state of mind required to be found guilty of the charged offense.

How are these crimes most commonly committed?

Manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and aggravated vehicular homicide are seen most often when a driver, alleged to be under the influence, hits and kills another person.  The state points to the driver's impairment and poor driving as evidence of reckless or criminally negligent conduct.  Then, so long as the death is the fault of the impaired driver, the homicide charge is brought.  Keep in mind that a driver's mental state can be alleged to be reckless even if not impaired.  An example being if the driver was involved in speed racing which led to the death of another person.

What other charges might be brought along with manslaughter?

As mentioned above, driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) is common as is reckless driving.  Sometimes if a driver flees after the collision a charge of failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons is added.  If someone is injured in addition to the person killed, a charge of assault would likely be added as well.

What type of sentences are typical on these homicide charges?

The sentences received on manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide charges can vary widely.  If you are convicted of manslaughter in the first degree or manslaughter in the second degree the court must impose at least a mandatory sentence of 120 months and 75 months respectively.  However, often times a manslaughter charge can be negotiated (pled) down to a charge of criminally negligent homicide.  This can result in a lesser though still substantial prison sentence.

 

If the homicide charge also involves a DUII, a lifetime driver license revocation will be part of the sentence with no hardship premit allowed.  See ORS 809.235(1)(a).

 

How do I contact David Lesh for help with my manslaughter case?

 

Mr. Lesh does not charge for an initial consultation.  Call his office at 503.546.2928 to speak with him.  Mr. Lesh's law firm is located at 434 NW 19th Avenue in Portland.  

 

David N Lesh

 


"I defend and help people facing manslaughter in the Portland metro area. 
Call me today at 503.546.2928 for immediate assistance with your case."

Twenty nine years as an Oregon attorney
Former Multnomah County prosecutor
Former deputy city attorney assigned to the Portland Police Bureau

2018 and 2019 Oregon Super Lawyer
Highly Rated


"Should you hire me to represent you, I will be your lawyer and point of contact.
I don't use-low level associates, paralegals, legal assistants, or case managers.
I personally respond to your phone calls and emails; I meet with you; I appear with you in court."


 

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David Lesh provides manslaughter defense to the communities of:  Portland Ore., Portland OR, NW Northwest, SW Southwest, SE Southeast, NE Northeast, and N North; Gresham; Lake Oswego; Hillsboro, Beaverton, Oregon City; Tualatin; West Linn; Milwaukie;; Wilsonville; Troutdale; Canby; St Helens, McMinnville, The Dalles, and Multnomah County; Washington County, Clackamas County, Columbia County, Yamhill County, Hood River County, Wasco County.  Read our privacy statement.  Attorney David Lesh accepts American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard credit cards / card.  Copyright 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007; 2006.  No claim to government works.