Vehicular manslaughter, also known as vehicular homicide, is a crime in which death results from the negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Depending on the exact circumstances of the accident, vehicular manslaughter can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony.
Some of the variables that come into play when determining the degree of punishment for such a charge include:
- The role of gross negligence, or blatant, willful disregard for the health, safety and property of others
- The related concept of recklessness
- The role of alcohol impairment, if any, and whether or not the accident occurred when the driver was over the legal blood alcohol limit (BAC) of 0.08 percent
- Speeding or otherwise failing to observe traffic laws
Defending Against Conviction
A common misconception about vehicular manslaughter is that it is not as serious a charge as murder. However, even without proof of intent, some states see this crime as a capital offense that warrants hefty jail time or even life imprisonment.
Studies have shown that, while the identity of the accused does not greatly affect the verdict or sentence, the identity of the victim can have an impact. Longer sentences have been imposed upon people who hit and kill children, females, and those with no criminal record.
Defending yourself against a vehicular manslaughter charge is a serious undertaking that will require the help of an experienced legal professional. If you or someone you know is facing this possibility, contact Rhode Island DUI lawyer Matthew Marin today by calling 401-287-4384.