The number of years someone convicted of manslaughter spends in prison varies according to state and territory and also the type of manslaughter committed. Manslaughter is defined as homicide without the intention to kill, meaning that the penalty for manslaughter is typically much lower than for a murder charge. Murder almost always results in jail time, while prison for manslaughter depends whether it is voluntary or involuntary.
Manslaughter is sought by the prosecution when there is no indisputable evidence that murder was committed. If voluntary manslaughter is the charge, then it may incur a prison sentence. The most common type of voluntary manslaughter is provocation, where the defendant accidentally commits homicide after being provoked first. The jail sentence for this type of manslaughter is often long. Another type of voluntary manslaughter is intoxication, which is where the defendant was not in control of his actions. Jail time for this type of manslaughter is often short and can sometimes include a rehab program if necessary.
On the other hand, involuntary manslaughter is less serious than voluntary manslaughter. As part of involuntary manslaughter, constructive manslaughter includes killing someone in a nonviolent crime. An example of this would be drinking and driving. Jail time often results, but the sentence may not be as long as for voluntary manslaughter. Another type of involuntary manslaughter is negligent manslaughter. An example of this would be a drunk person running onto the highway and being struck by a passing car. The defendant may be convicted of negligent vehicular manslaughter, but jail time is unlikely to be incurred.