Before explaining what vehicular manslaughter entails, the most important advice that can be given to you prior to hiring an experienced vehicular manslaughter attorney is to exercise your right to remain silent. Don't dig yourself into a hole by trying to explain what happened to the wrong people. Vehicular manslaughter is a charge brought against any person who drives a vehicle and unintentionally, but unlawfully, kills another human being. Vehicular manslaughter is the crime of causing the death of a human being due to illegal driving of an automobile, including gross negligence, drunk driving, reckless driving or speeding.
Vehicular manslaughter can be charged as a misdemeanor (minor crime with a maximum punishment of a year in county jail or only a fine) or a felony punishable by a term in state prison, depending on the circumstances. Gross negligence or driving a few miles over the speed limit might be charged as misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, but drunk driving resulting in a fatality is most likely treated as felony vehicular manslaughter. Death of a passenger, including a loved one or friend, can be vehicular manslaughter if caused by illegal driving.
The consequences for a conviction on a vehicular manslaughter charge can range from imprisonment, probation or parole, loss of driving privileges, steep fines, or other punishment. A vehicular manslaughter sentence will vary on the severity of the damages caused by the accident.
Sentencing for vehicular manslaughter will be determined by several factors relating to the criminal history of the convicted and other sociological factors. Prior convictions or similar convictions for vehicular manslaughter, being currently of probation or parole are all criminal history factors that can weigh on the sentence for vehicular manslaughter. Sociological factors such as the attitude of the community and court toward this type of crime, amount of media attention on the case, extenuating circumstances, and whether or not the accident was drug or alcohol related can affect the sentencing for a vehicular manslaughter case.
Your defense for a vehicular manslaughter case can mean the difference between a suspended sentence and a lengthy jail term. Defenses for a vehicular manslaughter charge range from a not at fault or lack of negligence defense, insufficient evidence, factual innocence, or other defenses depending on the details of the case. Before choosing a defense you should have already chosen an experienced vehicular manslaughter attorney.
An experienced vehicular manslaughter attorney can help you with the early preparation of your case, including legal research and defense strategy. Your vehicular manslaughter attorney can interview witnesses, the police, and the prosecutor to minimize or even have the case eliminated. An attorney can also help reduce bail requirements, negotiate alternatives such as counseling instead of a jail sentence, and even have the case dismissed. If you are being charged with vehicular manslaughter you can't afford to take this case on your own or with a public defender for that matter. You need an experienced vehicular manslaughter attorney, and you needed one yesterday.
If you are interested in learning more about vehicular manslaughter, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess your case to determine how best to protect and maximize your legal interests.
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