What is the Law for Killing by Car Accident?
It may be hard to believe, but you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter if you kill someone in an accident. A driver who flees an accident drives under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or takes his eyes off the road for a second could be guilty of vehicular manslaughter, though these charges vary by state. Regardless of the circumstances, if you are charged with an accident that killed a person, it is important to have an attorney review your case. If you have questions about what is the law for killing by a car accident, contact the law offices of John J. Zarych to discuss your legal options.
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Although vehicular manslaughter is not a very common criminal offense, it can result in severe penalties. A conviction of this type can lead to a $1,000 fine, a license suspension, or even jail time. In some states, there are additional penalties for vehicular manslaughter in work zones and school crossings.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to dodge charges. First, if you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could be charged with reckless vehicular homicide, a second-degree crime that can be punishable by up to five years in prison. You could also face second-degree vehicular manslaughter if another person was driving the vehicle when the collision occurred. Another possible charge is fleeing the scene of an accident, a third-degree crime that can be punished by a maximum of three to five years in prison.
Second-degree murder requires that the driver committed a reckless act or an act that was reckless and dangerous to human life. Depending on the case, you may also be charged with negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter, which are the most serious types of vehicular homicide. The most serious felony, second-degree murder, can carry a sentence of 15 to 480 months in prison. This can be particularly difficult to get rid of, as the state must prove the defendant’s intent to commit an act that was dangerous or likely to cause death.
Vehicular manslaughter is often considered to be a less serious offense than a first-degree or even second-degree murder conviction, but it can still come with harsh consequences. If you are arrested for this offense, you could be facing up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. That is why it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney. They can assess your case and recommend the best course of action.
Having a clear windshield and staying out of the blind spot can reduce your risk of being involved in a fatal accident. While it is not a crime, you should also purchase auto insurance to protect yourself against the loss of your vehicle. Whether you are convicted of vehicular manslaughter or not, you should always be cautious on the roads. Several factors, such as drowsy drivers, defective vehicles, and dangerous roads, can lead to a driver losing control of his or her vehicle.