If you have been accused of drunk driving and killing someone, you need to understand what the penalty is. If convicted, you could face jail time or fines, as well as loss of your driving privileges and a criminal record that cannot be expunged. You can also be required to pay restitution to the family of the victim.
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In some states, it is possible to be charged with murder for taking the life of a person while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, this is only true if the person died because they were operating the vehicle in a reckless or negligent way and had “malice aforethought” — that is, they acted with intent to kill another human being while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Most of the time, this charge will be filed under a more general homicide charge rather than a DUI-related vehicular manslaughter charge. In those cases, charges may include second-degree murder, first-degree murder or involuntary manslaughter depending on the circumstances and the severity of the crime.
When a person is found guilty of this crime, they will be facing a felony offense and could be sentenced to ten years in prison or state prison. This is especially the case when the driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and had a blood alcohol content level over the legal limit at the time of the accident.
This is a serious charge, so it is best to fight it with the help of an experienced attorney. You should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested for this crime to ensure that your rights are protected.
In the Golden State, a convicted motorist faces a maximum six-year prison term on ordinary negligence vehicular manslaughter charges if their blood alcohol content was above the legal limit at the time of the crash. This can increase to a ten-year term if the motorist commits gross negligence during the crash.
It is not uncommon for a DUI offender to be found guilty of aggravated vehicular manslaughter, which adds gross negligence to the list of crimes. The average sentence for this is ten years in jail or state prison, but it can be higher if the driver was found to be very reckless or grossly negligent during the crash.
The penalty for aggravated vehicular manslaughter in Tennessee is even harsher, with the minimum and maximum sentences increasing to 15 years and 60 years, respectively. This is especially the case when a driver has two or more prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol.
If you have been charged with DUI manslaughter or aggravated vehicular manslaughter, you need to contact an experienced Fort Mill and Rock Hill criminal defense attorney immediately. This is an important matter because it can change your life forever. It is critical to fight the charges so that you can avoid jail time and a lifetime of criminal records.
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