Killing another person has many different names. Depending on how it is labeled, the penalty can be severe, which is why it is important to hire a reputable attorney.
Manslaughter is similar to murder because it is the unlawful killing of another individual. The difference is manslaughter is not intending to kill another person. The lack of intent and malice causes the charge of manslaughter to be less than a murder charge. However, it is still a serious crime, intention or not, to take the life of another.
There are two distinct types of manslaughter. Voluntary and Involuntary.
Voluntary manslaughter happens when a person is provoked and kills another person. The go to example is if a spouse walks in on his significant other cheating with another person and kills them. The spouse did not intend to come home and kill someone, the current situation emotionally provoked the individual to do something uncharacteristic of them self.
Involuntary manslaughter is killing someone because of criminally reckless or negligent behavior. Basically, unintentionally killing someone because of a crime their committing. This is often confused with second degree murder, and is sometimes tried as second degree murder.
The difference between the two is a state of mind. If someone was acting recklessly or under the influence of alcohol while driving and runs over someone that would be considered involuntary manslaughter. Now, if the person driving had a suspended license or previous instances of reckless behavior the defendant may be charged with second degree murder. The big differentiating factor with a multiple offender is if there is a consistent disregard of human life with their prior convictions.