Driving under the influence is never a smart idea. But there are few consequences for driving impaired than contributing to the death of a pedestrian or fellow motorist.
If you or a loved one was driving under the influence and caused a death, they are likely to face DUI manslaughter charges.
This is one of the most serious crimes you can be charged with as a motorist. It requires an immediate legal defense headed up by a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer with plenty of experience handling past DUI manslaughter cases.
What Is A DUI Manslaughter Charges?
To be charged with DUI manslaughter, a driver must be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and be the cause of an accident which resulted in the death of another person, such as a pedestrian or the driver of another car.
While any DUI manslaughter charge is extremely serious, the severity of the charges can vary based on the details of the incident.
There are two primary forms of DUI manslaughter charges:
- Ordinary Negligence DUI Manslaughter: In an ordinary negligence charge, the driver was driving under the influence and violated traffic laws which resulted in a death, but only performed an “ordinary” violation of traffic laws. This could include speeding or driving distracted.
- Gross Negligence DUI Manslaughter: In a gross negligence charge, the driver was driving under the influence and made an extremely egregious violation of traffic laws which resulted in a death. This could mean driving on the wrong side of the road, driving on a sidewalk, or any other extreme violation of traffic laws.
What Happens If You Get Charged With DUI Manslaughter
After the accident, you will likely be arrested on DUI manslaughter charges to await trial. Bail may be posted for your release.
You will then be taken to court charged with DUI manslaughter. This can result in as much as ten years in state prison for a first offense. If you have two or more prior DUI convictions, you can face up to fifteen years in prison.
If you have a prior conviction for DUI manslaughter, you can face fifteen years to life in prison.
Other consequences may include revocation of your driver’s license, fines, and other stiff penalties.
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Vehicular Homicide vs. DUI Manslaughter
Vehicular homicide is a separate charge from DUI manslaughter and one which can carry much more severe penalties.
You can be charged with vehicular homicide if it is found that you were operating a motor vehicle with such gross neglect as to be “indifferent to human life,” or if it can be proven that you intended to murder or harm another person with your driving.
Vehicular homicide is sometimes refered to as “DUI Murder” when the driver of the vehicle is under the influence.
If you are charged with vehicular homicide and were driving under the influence, it is possible for a skilled lawyer to attempt a plea bargain or argue for lessening the charges to DUI manslaughter.
This is why it is vital to contact an attorney immediately after being charged with vehicular homicide or DUI manslaughter. Don’t delay! Schedule a free consultation with our expert DUI manslaughter lawyers today.
Should You Get A Lawyer For DUI Manslaughter Charges?
Yes. DUI Manslaughter charges are extremely severe felony charges. They are likely to result consequences which will impact the rest of your life, including loss of your license, long jail sentences, extreme fines, and a felony which will remain on your record, impacting your rights for the remainder of your life.
Without a competent attorney, you will be left to navigate the intricacies and complexities of the legal system on your own. Given the severity and extreme consequences of a DUI manslaughter charge, it is absolutely essential to have the right legal representation as you face these charges.
DUI Manslaughter Charges FAQ
What constitutes DUI manslaughter?
DUI manslaughter occurs when a driver is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident which results in the death of another driver or pedestrian. Depending on the level of negligence, the driver can be charged with ordinary or gross negligent DUI manslaughter. In extreme cases, the charge can be elevated to vehicular homicide.
What is the punishment for DUI manslaughter?
A DUI manslaughter charge can result in a variety of punishments but is almost sure to carry some jail time. Punishments can include suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, heavy fines, and jail time. You may also be sued for expenses by the estate or surviving family members of the victim killed in the incident.
How long do you go to jail for DUI manslaughter?
For a first time offense with no prior DUI convictions, you can face as much as ten years in state prison for a DUI manslaughter charge. If you have prior DUI convictions, you can face as much as fifteen years in state prison for a DUI manslaughter charge. For repeat offenders with a prior conviction for DUI manslaughter, you can face fifteen years to life in prison for a DUI manslaughter charge.
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