What Is the Penalty For Drunk Driving and Killing Someone?
In most states, when a driver is involved in an accident and kills another person, the driver can be charged with murder. This is the most serious type of charge, and it requires that a judge or jury find that the defendant intended to cause the death of another.
The prosecution must prove that the defendant was intoxicated when he or she caused the accident. In some cases, prosecutors will use blood alcohol concentration tests to show that the driver was under the influence. A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge these tests in court.
In some states, such as California, a driver can be charged with drunk driving manslaughter when he or she causes the death of another person while intoxicated. This is a second-degree felony offense that carries a minimum prison term of two years, up to seven.
There are also other charges that may be brought against a DUI driver who kills another, such as involuntary manslaughter and grossly negligent homicide. These are also considered second-degree felony crimes and carry similar penalties.
If the driver is convicted of these charges, he or she will have to serve at least a year in jail and pay fines. In addition, he or she can lose his or her driver’s license for at least one year.
Often, the victim of a DUI death is another driver, or an innocent bystander who was unharmed when the crash occurred. If this is the case, it can be challenging to get a homicide conviction for a DUI driver.
This is because a driver may be accused of violating other laws at the same time that they are charged with murder or manslaughter. These other laws include driving while suspended, reckless endangerment, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The penalties for a DUI murder charge are much more severe than those for ordinary DUI manslaughter and can include a prison sentence of up to 25 years. In addition to the potential for a lengthy prison term, a homicide DUI defendant can face the possibility of a life-changing criminal record.
Murder is a very serious crime and requires that the government prove that the defendant killed another with malice aforethought. This can be difficult to prove in a court of law, especially when the person who died was not a loved one.
But in some jurisdictions, a person can be convicted of manslaughter with no intent to kill by driving while intoxicated. A qualified DUI lawyer will know how to successfully argue that the alleged offender did not have any intention of killing someone, and thus could not be convicted of manslaughter.
If the defendant is convicted of involuntary manslaughter, he or she will have to serve up to a year in jail and pay a fine. In addition, a DUI manslaughter conviction can affect the individual’s future employment opportunities and housing options.