Like other homicides, vehicular homicide is the intentional or unintentional killing of another human being. The only difference is that in a vehicular homicide, the motor vehicle is the weapon, as opposed to a gun or knife. Depending on the facts of the case, a vehicular homicide defendant can be tried for murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide.
Can I Be Charged with Vehicular Homicide if I Was too Drunk to Know What I Was Doing?
Impairment due to alcohol or other drugs may be a partial defense to the crime, but it is never a complete defense. If a driver is too drunk to have the intent to kill, he may be charged with a lesser crime, such as involuntary manslaughter. This would be a rare occurrence, however, since often the impaired driver¿s actions leading up to the homicide are so reprehensible that the law implies intent to kill.
What Is the Punishment for Vehicular Homicide?
As with any other form of criminal homicide, there are often severe consequences if you are convicted of vehicular homicide, including:
- Imprisonment (state prison)
- It could be on your record for life
- Probation or parole
- Loss of the right to possess deadly weapons
- Loss of occupational licensing
- Loss of right to vote
- Significant fines
Can I Get the Death Penalty for Vehicular Homicide?
It is rare, but at least two states, North Carolina and Kentucky, have charged impaired drivers with capital murder.
What Should I Do if I Am Accused of Vehicular Homicide?
If you are accused of committing a homicide, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.
What if a Member of My Family Was the Victim of Vehicular Homicide?
If you are a family member of a homicide victim you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the District Attorney's office to prosecute the person who committed the homicide against your family member.
If you are interested in bringing a civil lawsuit for money against the person who committed the homicide, you should contact an experienced DUI/DWI lawyer.