2011 2a1_4



1.      HOMICIDE

§2A1.4.     Involuntary Manslaughter

(a)       Base Offense Level:

(1)       12, if the offense involved criminally negligent conduct; or

(2)       (Apply the greater): 

(A)       18, if the offense involved reckless conduct; or

(B)       22, if the offense involved the reckless operation of a means of transportation.

(b)      Special Instruction

(1)       If the offense involved the involuntary manslaughter of more than one person, Chapter Three, Part D (Multiple Counts) shall be applied as if the involuntary manslaughter of each person had been contained in a separate count of conviction.


Statutory Provisions:  18 U.S.C. §§ 1112, 1841(a)(2)(C), 2199, 2291, 2332b(a)(1).  For additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix A (Statutory Index).

Application Note:

1.      Definitions.—For purposes of this guideline:

"Criminally negligent" means conduct that involves a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise under the circumstances, but which is not reckless.  Offenses with this characteristic usually will be encountered as assimilative crimes.

"Means of transportation" includes a motor vehicle (including an automobile or a boat) and a mass transportation vehicle.  "Mass transportation" has the meaning given that term in 18 U.S.C. § 1992(d)(7).

"Reckless" means a situation in which the defendant was aware of the risk created by his conduct and the risk was of such a nature and degree that to disregard that risk constituted a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in such a situation.  "Reckless" includes all, or nearly all, convictions for involuntary manslaughter under 18 U.S.C. § 1112.  A homicide resulting from driving a means of transportation, or similarly dangerous actions, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs ordinarily should be treated as reckless.

Historical Note:  Effective November 1, 1987.  Amended effective November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendment 637); November 1, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 652); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 663); November 1, 2006 (see Appendix C, amendment 685); November 1, 2007 (see Appendix C, amendment 699).