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NY Penal Law § 125.21: Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree

July 1, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

The killing of a police officer or peace office is a rather serious offense. This is a fact even if killing the officer was not intentional, but you did take some action with the  intent to injure the officer.  You could be prosecuted for aggravated manslaughter in the second degree under New York Penal Law § 125.21 if you recklessly bring about the death of a police officer or peace officer who was carrying out his or her official duties. For you to be convicted under this statute, you must have been aware or had reason to be aware that the victim was a police officer or a peace officer. For the purposes of this legislation, the term “recklessly” means that you knew that an action you took had the risk of resulting in the death of another individual, but you ignored that risk and acted anyway.

For Example

Chris was driving his vehicle in excess of the speed limit.  a police officer spotted him and pulled him over.  Because he had been smoking marijuana and also in light of the fact that he had marijuana in the car, Chris became instantly nervous. As the police officer approached Chris’ car, the strong funk of the marijuana seemed to surround him. The officer asked Chris to get out of his car, but Chris had other plans. He had no intentions of getting out of the car to allow the police officer to discover his stash and charge him with any crimes.  Instead, he quickly turned the key in the ignition, smashed down on the gas pedal and sped away.  The sudden move caused the police officer to stumble backwards into traffic. Tragically, another car hit the stumbling police officer on the roadway, killing him instantly. Chris could get charged with the crime of aggravated murder in the second degree, because his reckless action resulted in the death of the police officer.

Offenses that are Related

Aggravated manslaughter in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 125.22

Aggravated criminally negligent homicide: New York Penal Law § 125.11

Possible Defenses

For a charge of aggravated manslaughter in the second degree to hold, it requires evidence that your reckless behavior brought about the death of a police officer or a peace officer.  if you can demonstrate that your actions were not reckless, then you have a defense against this charge.

The Sentence

Due to the fact that aggravated manslaughter in the second degree is categorized as a class C felony, if you are convicted, you could be looking at up to 15 years in state prison and you could also be required to pay a substantial fine.



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