Manslaughter charges cover any criminal killings which are not considered murder. A killing which lacks premeditation or malice and occurs as the result of a heat of passion is considered manslaughter.
Murder charges require an actus reus and mens rea of the killer. These Latin terms mean "guilty act" and "guilty mind," respectively. The actus reus and mens rea must be more grave in order to sustain a murder charge. Manslaughter charges serve to recognize instances where there are mitigating circumstances in the killing which prevents the prosecution from presenting murder charges or obtaining convictions in the event that it has also tried the defendant for manslaughter.
Manslaughter includes the following:
Vehicular manslaughter is also known as DUI manslaughter. It is a special circumstance of involuntary manslaughter which aims to punish individuals who engage in drunk driving and kill a person while driving under the influence. It is considered an involuntary manslaughter because driving a motor vehicle after the consumption of alcohol or any controlled substance is considered a negligent act. Any action which occurs as a result is therefore also considered a negligent act.