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Involuntary Manslaughter Law
PC 192(b) Law, Sentence, & Defense

Manslaughter can be classified as involuntary, voluntary, or vehicular. This article deals with the crime of involuntary manslaughter (PC 192(b)). For more information on manslaughter crimes, see vehicular manslaughter and voluntary manslaughter.

The law on the crime of involuntary manslaughter is found at California penal code 192(b). The definition of involuntary manslaughter is the unintentional killing of another human being due to gross negligent conduct of the defendant.

The negligence standard for involuntary manslaughter charges is gross negligence, which is a higher standard than simple negligence. For example, speeding on the highway which leads to an accident causing an unintended death might lead to involuntary manslaughter charges if the speeding was considered to be grossly negligent under the circumstances.

Common scenarios where involuntary manslaughter charges are levied against the defendant include:

  • Child dies in a swimming pool accident and defendant was not monitoring the child properly

  • Child dies from being left in a hot vehicle while parent inattentive

  • Defendant runs a stop sign and kills pedestrian

  • Defendant disobeys a traffic law and kills a another person after an accident

  • Child finds a improperly stored firearm and accidentally kills self or another person

  • Child ingests poisons that were not properly stored by defendant who should have known that children were likely to find and ingest the poison

  • Defendant does not pay attention to child who runs into the street and is killed by a vehicle, and more.

Sentence for PC 192(b)

Prison: If found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, the defendant may face up to four years in state prison.

Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is period time during which the defendant is monitored, as opposed to being sentence to prison. A probation sentence is allowed in PC 192(b) cases, but they are not guaranteed. Most probation sentences for involuntary manslaughter crimes includes some form of community service, such as work release. Probation sentences for PC 192(b) convictions is monitored by a probation officer.

Good Behavior Credit: Any prison or work release sentence ordered after a conviction for PC 192(b) is subject to a possible 50% reduction for being good while in jail or while on on work release (day for day credit).

PC 1170(h): If the defendant is not granted a probation sentence, then the defendant must serve his or her prison sentence in a state prison (as opposed to a local county jail). In addition, no part of the defendant's prison sentence may be split or suspended.

Three Strikes Law: Involuntary manslaughter is considered a serious offense (PC 1191.2) and is considered a strike offense under California's Three Strikes law.


Note: Involuntary manslaughter is not considered a crime involving moral turpitude.


Other penalties include: restitution, fines, possible professional licensing consequences, possible immigration consequences for non United States citizens. loss of the right to own or possess a firearm, denial into the United States military), and  more.

Defense to PC 192(b)

Common defenses to the crime of involuntary manslaughter include: insufficient evidence to prove gross negligence, mistake of fact, coerced confessions, police officer misconduct in investigations, alibi, statute of limitations, and more.

If you have been charged with the crime of involuntary manslaughter, or PC 192(b), contact our criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation . Call today!


Quick Legal Reference​

Crime: Involuntary Manslaughter

Code: PC 192(b) (CalCrim No. 580-582)

Wobbler: No. PC 192(b) is not a wobbler. This means that PC 192(b) is only charged as a felony.​


Incarceration: ​PC 192(b) prison sentence range: 2, 3, or 4 years (if probation not granted).

Probation: Probation may be available in PC 192(b) cases (assuming that other crimes or enhancements that might bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

PC 1170(h)): No. PC 192(b) is not subject to PC 1170(h) sentencing. This means that any incarceration ordered after a felony conviction, that is not part of a probation sentence, must be served in state prison (as opposed to a county jail), and the prison sentence may not be split or suspended.

Strike: PC 192(b) is a strike offense per California's Three Strikes law because this crime is considered a Serious offense (PC 1192.7). Strike offenses are subject to reduced good time credits in prison and other penalty enhancements upon subsequent criminal convictions.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.

CIMT: PC 192(b) is not a crime involving moral turpitude.


Firearms: PC 192(b) convictions prohibit a defendant from owning or possessing a firearm.. 

Bail: $75,000 (San Bernardino County)

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