Fatal Crash: Who Decides if it was Vehicular Homicide?

by Ladyblogger on July 9, 2013

A vehicular homicide charge, also known as vehicular manslaughter in some states, involves killing someone during a traffic accident. However, there are several conditions that must be met before this specific charge can be applied. For example, the responsible driver needs to be found negligent of doing something unlawful that is not considered to be a felony. In other words, if you are texting while your vehicle is in motion in a state that has an anti-texting law, you could be charged with vehicular homicide if you end up killing someone.

How do Vehicular Homicide Statutes Work?

There are only three states that do not currently have a vehicular homicide statute on the books: Alaska, Arizona and Montana. However, it is still possible to be charged with murder or manslaughter regardless of your state’s vehicular homicide statute. Fortunately for most drivers, the vehicular homicide statute will actually reduce the penalties and jail time that would typically be applied to a manslaughter or murder case.

However, the statute does state that a vehicle can be used as a deadly weapon, and this helps prosecutors get an easier conviction, and it also enables each judge to give harsher penalties than a homicide that is committed without a deadly weapon. In other words, even though you might not do 25 years for murder, it is still possible that you could be sentenced to several years in prison for a vehicular homicide.

What if I did not Break the Law?

In some cases, a person will die during a traffic accident that does not involve any specific violations of the law. If this happens to you, it will be important to be able to prove that you did not do anything wrong. For example, according to http://www.devorelawoffice.com/, if you are legally driving through an intersection in Minnesota and the other driver crashes into you and dies, you are not going to be held responsible for their death. If however, there is any question regarding whether or not you were actually driving legally, you will most likely need to defend yourself in a court of law.

Dealing with a Vehicular Homicide Charge

If you are arrested for a vehicular homicide, it is imperative that you contact an experienced attorney immediately. After all, the evidence that can either exonerate you or prove that you are guilty will begin disappearing quickly due to outside factors such as the weather, so you need to have someone on your side that can help you collect information that will help your case. For example, it is a good idea to get photographs of the accident scene. Even if you are unable to photograph the area until after it has been cleaned up, you should still take pictures to show what the intersection or other applicable section of road looks like as this could be pertinent to your case.

Regardless of the circumstances, being involved in a traffic accident that includes a fatality is going to be nerve-wracking. Therefore, it is important to be careful what you say until you find out if you are going to be charged with anything, and you should contact an attorney to represent you if necessary.

Anthony Joseph is a blogger with a passion for writing about motor vehicle laws. Attorney Kevin DeVore, at http://www.devorelawoffice.com/, has the exact track record and experience that it takes to win cases. He’s obtained a number of acquittals in cases that ranged from DUI, to felonies and even a recent murder case.

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