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Gross Negligence Manslaughter Defence
If you have been accused of gross negligence manslaughter, or think there is a chance you will be, JMW Solicitors’ team of criminal defence lawyers is able to advise, assist and represent you through proceedings.
The potential consequences of being accused of gross negligence manslaughter are serious so it is important that you have access to expert legal advice from the outset. Our solicitors are recognised as a Top Tier Firm by the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, meaning you can rest assured your case is in very good hands.
How JMW Can Help
We are experienced in defending clients facing criminal charges for gross negligence manslaughter. Our solicitors will draw on their extensive knowledge and expertise to assess the situation, provide you with expert advice and insights, and make use of all the information available to build a strong defence.
The team will be able to help you at any point of the investigation or prosecution process, including:
- The receipt of enforcement notices
- Interviews under caution
- Responses to disclosure requests
- On-site investigations
- Inquests into the case
- Court proceedings
In addition to providing a strong defence case, we can ensure that you have access to advice and guidance in relation to your responsibilities so you can make sure you and your business are operating in compliance with the law.
What is Gross Negligence Manslaughter?
Gross negligence manslaughter is where the death of a person has resulted from a grossly negligent act or omission. This could include medical professionals such as doctors or nurses, or an employer of a business.
In order to convict a defendant of gross negligence manslaughter, the following must be established:
- A duty of care was owed to the deceased
- The duty of care was breached
- The breach caused the death
- At the time of the negligence, there was an obvious risk of death
- The nature of the negligence amounts to a criminal offence
Although prosecutions are quite rare, they are normally complex and require very careful consideration when answering the allegations.
FAQs About Gross Negligence Manslaughter
What is the maximum sentence for gross negligence manslaughter?
If convicted of gross negligence manslaughter, you could face between one and 18 years imprisonment. You are likely to face a longer sentence if you were aware of the risk of death or suffering caused by your negligence and persisted with your behaviour, or your behaviour was the result of another criminal act.
What kind of evidence is used in gross negligence manslaughter cases?
Forensic evidence and other technical expert opinion is normally at the forefront of the investigator’s case, especially in matters of health and safety. If the act took place in public, the prosecution is likely to rely on any available CCTV footage or observations from persons present at the time.
If the death occurred in a workplace, employment records such as training and disciplinary records are likely to be used. Expert witnesses may also be used to explore whether a relevant person’s behaviour was grossly negligent or dangerous.
If I am asked to attend an interview, should I answer questions?
This needs to be a subject for detailed discussion in advance of the interview. We obtain pre-interview disclosure from the investigating officers and take your instructions on what you might say during the interview. We then advise on whether you should make no comment, answer questions or submit a written statement in place of verbal answers.
Assuming that you have not been arrested, we may even advise that you should decline the invitation to be interviewed by appointment. It depends upon the individual circumstances of the case.
The decision can have a critical impact on the investigator’s ability to maintain the case against you, so your legal representative’s experience and expertise in cases of this type is extremely important in advancing your position.