Vehicular manslaughter is a serious offense that results in the death of an individual due to reckless or criminal driving of another person. Vehicular manslaughter is usually filed with additional charges that are the probable cause of the accident. These charges may be:
- Driving illegally
- Reckless driving
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Extreme negligence while driving
If you are facing a vehicular manslaughter charge, you may be facing either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the conditions surrounding the death of the victim. You should contact a highly skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney for help with this serious type of case.
Misdemeanor or Felony Charges
Vehicular manslaughter may be charged as a misdemeanor, which is a minor charge that will either result in having to pay a fine or serving some time in a county jail. A felony charge is more serious and may result in hard time in a state or federal prison.
Your case may be sentenced as a misdemeanor if the outcome of the accident resulted in reckless driving or speeding. A felony is charged if the outcome of the accident results due to driving under the influence or driving in some other criminal manner.
The penalties for vehicular manslaughter include:
- Compensation to the family of the victim
- Time spent in jail or prison
- Driving privileges suspended or lost
- Obligatory rehabilitation
- Permanent record
- Steep fines
Each state has different laws regarding vehicular manslaughter. However, most states charge this offense as a felony when driving under the influence is the cause of the crime. There are several factors that may influence the sentence of the crime:
- Parole or probation status of the offender
- Biases by the court or jury
- Prior criminal record
- Repeat offender