What is the Penalty For Driving Drunk and Killing Someone?
Depending on the laws of your state, you may face a variety of consequences for driving drunk and killing someone. You may be charged with manslaughter, second-degree murder, or even vehicular homicide. It is important that you know your legal options and consults an experienced DUI defense attorney for advice and representation.
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Generally, manslaughter involves recklessness or involuntary actions that cause another person’s death. This can be demonstrated by the defendant’s failure to use reasonable care while operating the vehicle. Examples of recklessness include racing, tailgating, or ignoring traffic signs. Reckless disregard for safety can also be demonstrated by failing to maintain speed or turning on lights. In addition, any statements made about the accident can be used against the accused driver.
The maximum jail term for a first-time drunk-driving-related offense is 10 years, but this can increase to 15 or even 60 years if gross negligence is found. This penalty is based on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). In New York, a BAC of 0.18 or less is considered “simple” negligence, while a BAC of over 0.18 is a “gross” negligent act. In California, a BAC of 0.08 is sufficient to charge a driver with vehicular manslaughter in the second degree.
If you are charged with second-degree murder in California, your sentence could range from 16 years to life imprisonment. In addition, if you are convicted of a DUI-related killing, you could face additional penalties such as mandatory community service and a license suspension. You may also be required to undergo a substance abuse treatment program or undergo a psychosocial evaluation. In some cases, you may be required to pay restitution to the family of the deceased. In some states, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of your loved one.
In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with “homicide by vehicle” if you are arrested for drunk driving. In addition, you may face fines of up to $25,000 for each victim killed in the accident. The penalties can also include up to three years of supervised probation and alcohol education costs. You can also be required to complete a breath-activated ignition locking device (BAILD) program.
You can also be charged with vehicular homicide in some states, including Florida. This is an extremely serious crime, and you should not answer any questions from the police until you speak with an attorney. If you do answer any questions, make sure that you do not admit guilt to anything. Your testimony can help the prosecutor decide whether or not to file charges. You should not speak to the police if you have any reason to suspect that you have been drinking. Moreover, you should not take any chemical breath tests at the scene of the accident. You will have to have the test performed at the police station or medical center.
In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with driving drunk and killing someone if you are convicted of vehicular manslaughter, second-degree murder, or involuntary manslaughter. If you are convicted, you may have to serve the prison term consecutively or in a series.