Vehicular Manslaughter Consequences

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Vehicular homicide is a crime that is categorized as a felony.  It can lead to a criminal charge and conviction for murder, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide or negligent homicide. Some state laws include unintentional deaths, or require proof that the driver was reckless or grossly negligent, without intending to kill someone.  The only difference between a vehicular homicide and other homicides is the use of a motor vehicle as a weapon, as opposed to a gun or knife.  If the elements for murder can be proven, a defendant charged with vehicular homicide can be tried for first-degree murder.

If the individual was driving under the influence and involved in an accident resulting in a person’s death, they will face serious consequences.

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter

The range of penalties for vehicular homicide while driving under the influence varies substantially.  For first time offenders, the penalties will be less significant than for a repeat offender. 

The most common include:

  • Jail time up to 20 years
  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Probation and random alcohol testing
  • Interlock Ignition Device installed on vehicle
  • Mandatory alcohol education classes
  • Community service hours starting at a minimum of 200 hours
  • Suspension or revocation driver’s license

The court will take into consideration any other prior convictions or charges for DUI or reckless endangerment either at the misdemeanor or felony level.  They will also examine the conditions at the time of the accident to determine if there were any mitigating circumstances.

How Lawyers Can Help

A charge of vehicular homicide or involuntary manslaughter will impact your ability to work, and it can be devastating to your family and loved ones.  Working with an accident attorney may prevent you from lengthy jail time, court fines, and loss of your driver’s license.  Experienced vehicular manslaughter lawyers can review the evidence and point out the strengths and weaknesses of the case against you. 

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