West Palm Beach Manslaughter Attorney David W. Olson


Manslaughter is an extremely serious offense; a conviction can potentially result in a second degree felony and a prison sentence of up to fifteen years. A conviction for aggravated manslaughter has substantially harsher penalties. If you were charged with manslaughter, it is crucial to hire a highly qualified criminal defense attorney who will zealously fight for your freedom and your legal rights. It is the duty and responsibility of your attorney to aggressively and effectively represent you, pursuing the most favorable outcome possible.


Attorney David W. Olson has more than 30 years of experience representing clients accused of manslaughter, DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, DUI, reckless driving, murder, assault, drug offenses, sex offenses, weapons charges, domestic assault and battery, criminal mischief, aggravated battery, juvenile matters, aggravated assault and other serious felonies and misdemeanors. Attorney Olson offers a free case review, which can be scheduled by calling 561-833-8866.


Understanding Florida’s Manslaughter Statute


Manslaughter is proscribed in Section 782.07, Florida Statutes:


  • (1) The killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification according to the provisions of chapter 776 and in cases in which such killing shall not be excusable homicide or murder, according to the provisions of this chapter, is manslaughter, a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.


Manslaughter by Act, Procurement, Culpable Negligence


The Statute proscribes three categories or classifications of manslaughter:


  1. Manslaughter by act – intentional act that results in death of another
  2. Manslaughter by procurement – procuring a third party to act in such a manner that it results in the death of another
  3. Manslaughter by culpable negligence – death occurred as a result of culpably negligent conduct. Culpably negligent conduct is the blatant, extreme disregard for the life or safety of another


What the State Must Prove


In order for the State to prove the offense of manslaughter, two elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the Florida Standard Jury Instructions 7.7:


  1. The victim is dead.
  2. The defendant intentionally committed an act or acts that caused the death of the victim, or
  3. Defendant intentionally procured an act that caused the death of the victim, or
  4. The death of the victim was caused by the culpable negligence of the defendant.

The appropriate manner will be selected under the second element above – either a, b, or c.


Ordinary and Culpable Negligence


“Ordinary” negligence is the failure to use ordinary care toward others. Culpable negligence, however, exceeds ordinary negligence:


  • Gross, flagrant, extreme disregard for the safety of others and human life
  • Act or omission that an ordinary person would realize would result in great bodily harm or death to another individual
  • Willful, wonton, reckless, extreme conduct that is likely to result in injury or death to another


What is Justifiable Homicide?


“The killing of a human being is justifiable homicide and lawful if necessarily done while resisting an attempt to murder or commit a felony upon the defendant, or to commit a felony in any dwelling house in which the defendant was at the time of the killing.” Sec. 782.02, Fla. Stat.


What is Excusable Homicide?


There are three circumstances when it is excusable and lawful to kill another:


  1. “When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means with usual ordinary caution and without any unlawful intent, or
  2. When the killing occurs by accident and misfortune in the heat of passion, upon any sudden and sufficient provocation, or
  3. When the killing is committed by accident and misfortune resulting from a sudden combat, if a dangerous weapon is not used and the killing is not done in a cruel or unusual manner.” Sec. 782.03, Fla. Stat.


If a death occurs that is not a justifiable homicide or an excusable homicide, the State may decide to pursue manslaughter and/or other charges.


Aggravated Manslaughter


Aggravated manslaughter is also detailed in Sec. 782.07:


  • Aggravated manslaughter of an elderly person or disabled adult – causing death by culpable negligence
  • Aggravated manslaughter of a child – causing the death by culpable negligence of any person under 18 years of age
  • Aggravated manslaughter of an officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or paramedic– causing death by culpable negligence while the individuals are within the scope of their employment


Penalties for aggravated manslaughter (maximum):


  • Felony of the first degree
  • Prison sentence – 30 years
  • Fine – $10,000


West Palm Beach and South Florida Manslaughter Attorney David W. Olson


If you were charged with manslaughter, aggravated manslaughter or any other criminal offense, it is important to remember that you have the right to challenge the charges and accusations against you. The most efficacious way to do this is to retain a highly experienced and qualified criminal defense attorney who is intimately familiar with the criminal justice system and who has successfully and skillfully represented thousands of clients before you over a course of many years.


For more than 30 years Attorney Olson has represented clients in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and elsewhere throughout South Florida and the State. The great majority of Attorney Olson’s clients’ cases have been resolved without going to trial. In many cases the charges have been dismissed. In many others the charges have been reduced.


A small percentage of the cases go to trial. Of those, many of his clients have been found not guilty. Every case, of course, is unique, and while results cannot be predicted, you can be sure that Attorney Olson will fight for you. He understands that your life is precious and that you deserve the best legal representation possible.


Attorney David W. Olson – Professional Awards


Attorney Olson is the recipient of numerous awards for professional excellence and high ethical standards. These include the following:


  • “AV Preeminent” – 5.0 out of 5.0 – “A significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence.” Only 5% of attorneys receive this rating.
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers” – National Trial Lawyers
  • “Nation’s Top One Percent” – National Association of Distinguished Counsel


Client Endorsements


“I hired Mr. Olson from a recommendation by a family member. He was immediately behind my situation and put me completely at ease. There were no false promises, very upfront as far as expectations and outcomes. His assistant, Jessica, was a joy to work with as well. They came to my house, interviewed witnesses, went above and beyond and always responded to my phone calls. I totally endorse this attorney.”


“David and Jessica have always been there for my family and I. He has been responsive and genuine to truly giving the best advice and guidance with respect to the law on decisions we should make. Kept me out of jail numerous times and I will forever be thankful. We had a few lawyers in the past but once we used David, we never needed another.”


Law Offices of David W. Olson Offers a Complimentary Case Review


To schedule a complimentary in-office or telephone case review, call The Law Offices of David W. Olson at 561-833-8866. Spanish is spoken at the office and all clients are welcomed and treated with respect.




Chapter 782, Homicide, Fla. Stat. (2015)
Sections. 782.02, 782.03, 782.07 Fla. Stat. (2015)
Florida Standard Jury Instructions 7.7