Vehicular manslaughter, also known as vehicular homicide, is the reckless or negligent killing of another through the use of a vehicle. Vehicular manslaughter statutes are a relatively new category of criminal statutes that arose from province concerns about how to deal with the prevalence of vehicle-related deaths.
You may cause death negligently by committing an unlawful act that does not qualify as a felony. You may also be guilty of vehicular manslaughter for negligently committing a lawful act that leads to the loss of life of another individual.
If it involves violent crimes, the consequences can be life changing, including a felony record that will follow a convict forever. Many people might not realize that causing a fatal crash while under the influence of alcohol constitutes a violent crime, even if there was no intention to kill anybody. And if the allegation is that you committed vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then you would be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated
The most common charge of vehicular manslaughter occurs when someone kills another person due to his or her driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This type of vehicular manslaughter is prosecuted under the criminal code subdivisions (a) and (b). In most provinces, prosecutors must show that the driving itself was careless in other words, mere proof of legal intoxication is insufficient.
There is no real defence for driving after drinking too much alcohol. Intoxication is easily proven with standard blood-alcohol tests that come in many forms, i.e. breathalyzer, urine tests, etc. Drivers who drive under the influence of prescribed or street drugs may also be charged with vehicular manslaughter if they caused an accident that resulted in death.
If a person is negligent or speeds in a construction zone, the offense of Vehicular Homicide is a first degree misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and a driver’s license suspension for one to five years. If a person commits a minor misdemeanor traffic offense, the offense of Vehicular Manslaughter is a second degree misdemeanor carrying up to 90 days in jail and a driver’s license suspension for six months to three years.
Negligent driving is characterized by lack of care and prudence that an ordinary individual would have under similar circumstances. Vehicular manslaughter charges can be applied to fatal accidents that happen after the driver violated a safety statute.
As an automobile driver, you always have a duty to drive reasonably, prudently and to watch for conditions on the road. Furthermore, as the driver of an automobile, you must drive in a manner not to endanger the safety of any person or property. For instance, a manslaughter charge might be appropriate when someone chooses to stay up all night, works all day, and attempts to drive home after being awake for more than 36 hours. Voluntarily putting oneself in a position so that one cannot stay awake, and then driving, is negligent behavior and possibly even recklessness.
It is very similar to a DWI case; the prosecution has to prove that you were operating the vehicle, that you were operating the vehicle while intoxicated, that you were operating the vehicle and were responsible for an accident and, as a result of that accident, the passenger or another person was seriously injured.
Due to the severity of these cases, it is best to ensure a criminal defense lawyer is contacted immediately. These situations often lead to very harsh penalties when a conviction occurs, and the lack of a legal representative may lead to a guilty verdict with maximum punishment.
There are a variety of legal defenses available, including lack of negligence or gross negligence, causation, involuntary intoxication, insufficient evidence, and mistaken identity. Proving lack of causation between the driver’s conduct and the resulting accident is an effective legal defense.To help negate actusreus, a defendant can present evidence that the deceased person also committed an illegal or negligent action, such as a pedestrian jaywalking in a busy street when there are signs prohibiting such activity.
This is known as involuntary intoxication. It should be noted that some defenses will not apply to all vehicular manslaughter/homicide cases. This is because the necessary level of intent can differ from case to case.
Vehicular/DUI manslaughter also carries the same potential term of imprisonment and fines as vehicular homicide, but with one crucial difference.
Under the law, any “person who is convicted of DUI manslaughter shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 4 years.” In addition, anyone convicted of Vehicular/DUI manslaughter must undergo mandatory substance abuse treatment at the offender’s expense, a loss of driving privileges, and intensive monitoring and driving restrictions (such as an ignition interlock device).
Defending these types of violent crimes after a DUI accident might require the skills and experience of a criminal defense attorney. Prosecutors will have to show negligent driving on the part of the defendant, which often includes proof of alcohol or drug impairment.
With an experienced attorney in his or her corner right from the start, a defendant might see his or her charges reduced or even dismissed. When charged with a serious crime such as vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, you need an Orange DUI Manslaughter lawyer that will fight for you using an effective defensive strategy. There are several defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of your charge.
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