Manslaughter is categorized under the Criminal Code as culpable homicide that is not classified as either murder or infanticide. It generally refers to cases where death results from actions that are unlawful but lack the intent to kill, typically characterized by negligence or other reckless behavior.

Manslaughter: Legal Definitions 

Homicide s. 222 (1): A person commits homicide when, directly or indirectly, by any means, he causes the death of a human being.

  • Non culpable homicide s. 222 (3): Homicide that is not culpable is not an offence.
  • Culpable homicide s. 222 (4): Culpable homicide is murder or manslaughter or infanticide.

Culpable homicide, s. 222 (5): A person commits culpable homicide when he causes the death of a human being,

  • (a) by means of an unlawful act;
  • (b) by criminal negligence;
  • (c) by causing that human being, by threats or fear of violence or by deception, to do anything that causes his death; or
  • (d) by wilfully frightening that human being, in the case of a child or sick person.

Manslaughter Definition: Under s. 234 of the Criminal Code, culpable homicide that is not murder or infanticide is manslaughter.

Have you been charged with manslaughter? Call (306) 994-9522 for a free consultation with a criminal lawyer. 

Types of Manslaughter

  • Manslaughter by Unlawful Act: The act that causes death must be illegal and objectively dangerous, likely to injure another person.
  • Manslaughter by Criminal Negligence: This involves death caused by reckless disregard for life and safety.
  • Manslaughter by Provocation: This covers instances where the accused was provoked into committing the act that resulted in death.

The law recognizes that the accused may not have intended to kill, but their actions were sufficient to make them legally responsible for the resulting death.

Offences Similar to Manslaughter


Under s. 229 of the Criminal Code, Culpable homicide is classified as murder under three main circumstances: 

  1. If someone causes death intentionally or causes bodily harm that they know could lead to death, regardless of their concern for the outcome.
  2. If someone, while attempting to kill or seriously harm one person, accidentally or mistakenly kills another, even if they did not intend to harm the actual victim.
  3. If a person, pursuing an illegal goal, engages in an act they know could result in death and someone dies as a result, even if their original intent was not to harm or kill anyone.


According to section 233 of the Criminal Code, infanticide occurs when a woman, through a deliberate act or failure to act, causes the death of her newborn child while her mind is disturbed due to not having fully recovered from giving birth or from the effects of breastfeeding. This mental disturbance is a key factor in distinguishing infanticide from other types of homicide.

Are you facing a manslaughter charge? Act now. Dial (306) 994-9522 for a complimentary consultation with a criminal lawyer today. 

Penalties and Consequences for Manslaughter

Manslaughter charges are treated as indictable offences with no option for a lesser summary conviction. The penalties for manslaughter vary significantly, reflecting the circumstances and severity of the offence:

  • Using a Firearm: Maximum sentence of life imprisonment with a minimum of four years imprisonment if a firearm was used.
  • Other Cases: No minimum sentence and a maximum of life imprisonment with sentencing influenced by factors such as the accused's intent, the victim's characteristics, and the nature of the act.

Indictable Dispositions Available for Manslaughter

  • Imprisonment

Aggravating Factors

  • Relationship to the victim.
  • Use of a weapon, particularly a firearm.
  • Presence of premeditation or spontaneous action.
  • Impact on the victim's family.

Legal Process and Rights of those Accused of Manslaughter

  • Preliminary Inquiry: Under Section 536(2), the accused may request a preliminary inquiry to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.
  • Bail Considerations: Manslaughter charges often involve complex bail hearings, especially if the offence involved a firearm or was linked to criminal organization activities.

Are you facing manslaughter charges? A skilled criminal defence lawyer can evaluate the details of your case, craft a strong defence strategy, and safeguard your rights throughout the judicial process. Call (306) 994-9522 to receive a free consultation with a criminal lawyer today.

Potential Defences Against Manslaughter

One common defence is demonstrating a lack of intent to kill or the inability to foresee death resulting from one's actions. Another potential defence is provocation, where it is argued that the victim provoked the accused, leading to the fatal outcome. 

Additionally, a defence could be based on the claim that the death was accidental and occurred under lawful circumstances. These arguments require a nuanced understanding of the law and are critical in forming a robust defence strategy. Dial (306) 994-9522 for a free consultation with a criminal lawyer. 

Don’t Face Your Manslaughter Charge Alone

An experienced criminal defence lawyer is essential when facing a manslaughter charge. A criminal lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system, protect your rights, and develop a strong defence strategy tailored to your manslaughter case.

Need a Criminal Lawyer? Get a Free Legal Consultation With Nicholas Robinson, Criminal Lawyer

Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have been charged with manslaughter. Call (306) 994-9522 and a skilled criminal defence lawyer will discuss your case with you and explore your options.

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