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A lesser included offense is a less severe crime that a person automatically must have committed, if he commited a more severe crime.

For example, in many states, murder is the most serious type of crime for killing a person. Manslaughter is often a lesser included offense of murder because it is a less severe type of crime for killing a person. If a person is guilty of murder, we know he did everything that would also have made him guilty of the less severe crime of manslaughter.

Here is a link to a video explaining a lesser included offense:

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