Murder / Manslaughter

If you have been charged with Murder of Manslaughter you need to contact a lawyer immediately. With the correct advice you can better defend the charges or reduce the possible penalty.

The penalties for a first offence of murder, manslaughter and conspiracy to murder include life in prison but with the right legal advice you may be able reduce any sentence and even avoid a custodial sentence altogether.

If you have been charged with a murder of manslaughter CALL 1800 438 688 for a free case assessment.

When you contact us we will be able to advise you of the best legal strategy to get the best possible outcome.

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Murder is defined in S.18(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) as:

Murder shall be taken to have been committed where the act of the accused, or thing by him or her omitted to be done, causing the death charged, was done or omitted with reckless indifference to human life, or with intent to kill or inflict grievous bodily harm upon some person, or done in an attempt to commit, or during or immediately after the commission, by the accused, or some accomplice with him or her, of a crime punishable by imprisonment for life or for 25 years.

There are four identifiable bases of liability of murder, involving:

  • an intent to kill
  • an intent to inflict grievous bodily harm
  • reckless indifference to human life, or
  • the commission of a crime punishable by life imprisonment or imprisonment for 25 years

There are three standard non-parole periods prescribed for murder:

  • 20 years for murder (general) committed on or after 1 February 2003
  • 25 years for the murder of a person falling within a category of occupation committed on or after 1 February 2003
  • 25 years for the murder of a child, whenever committed.


There are two categories within the offence of manslaughter: voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter.

In case of voluntary manslaughter the elements of murder are present, but the culpability of the offender’s conduct can be reduced by provocation or substantial impairment by abnormality of mind or by self-defence.

You can also be guilty of Manslaughter by committing an unlawful and dangerous act. This occurs where the accused causes the death of the deceased by a voluntary and dangerous act which a reasonable person in the position of the accused would have appreciated, exposed another person to a risk of serious injury.

The content and any linked publications on this website are intended to only provide a general summary and overview on the subject of interest. It is not intended to be or constitute legal advice. Whilst we attempt to update the content the law is constantly changing on this basis we do not guarantee its currency. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the Content within this site or any other legal issue.