Homicide is the killing of another human being. Whether the homicide is considered a first degree murder, second degree murder, or manslaughter depends on the circumstances. One type of homicide in Washington State is called "vehicular homicide."
How is Vehicular Homicide Defined in Washington State?
Vehicular homicide is defined as the death of an individual within three years of an injury caused by a car accident..
Can I Be Charged with Vehicular Homicide If I’m Accused of Injuring Someone While Driving under the Influence?
Yes. Washington State law does include driving under the influence, or DUI, as a of a person’s death. DUI vehicular homicide is commonly known as the unintentional or intentional killing of a human being done with a motor vehicle rather than a weapon such as a gun.
I Wasn’t Drunk at the Time of My Accident, Why was I Charged with Vehicular Homicide?
In Washington, a person can also be charged with this crime in two other situations. First, they were driving in a reckless manner and the manner was the cause of a victim’s injuries. Driving in a reckless manner involves speeding or operating a motor vehicle without thinking about the safety of other people.
The second reason for a vehicular homicide charge is the driver operated their motor vehicle with disregard for the safety of pedestrians and other drivers. This means the defendant was driving in a way that could cause injury to someone. In both situations, a person dies because of the defendant’s actions.
What is the Punishment for Vehicular Homicide in Washington State?
In Washington State, vehicular homicide is considered to be a class A felony. The punishment for vehicular homicide is up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000. If this is a defendant’s subsequent offense, they may receive up to two additional years in prison. The additional years will be for each prior vehicular homicide offense.
Do I Need the Help of a Lawyer?
Yes, contact a washington criminal lawyer for help with this serious criminal charge.