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What is vehicular manslaughter or homicide?

If you've been suffering because of the loss of a loved one after a car accident, you may be wondering what the law will do to protect others and to punish the persons who caused your family member's death. One thing the law may do is classify the case as a vehicular manslaughter or homicide.

What is manslaughter?

Manslaughter is what it's called when a person's reckless actions lead to the death of another person. It also is defined as intentionally causing or aiding in a person's suicide.

What is vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide?

Basically put, it's when a driver's reckless conduct leads to the death of another person. If that driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, then the crime becomes a strict liability crime. That means that the person didn't need intent to hurt the other person to be found guilty.

How can it be determined if someone was under the influence of an intoxicating substance?

To determine if a driver has committed vehicular homicide under a strict liability clause, the defendant has to have at least a blood alcohol concentration of .05. If it's between .05 and .08, then it's able to be used as evidence of intoxication but is not high enough to be considered illegal. If the person has a BAC of .08 or higher, then the driver is presumed to have been under the influence at the time of the accident.

If any of this describes an accident that took the life of your loved one, you may be in a position not only to make a civil claim but also to help with the criminal complaint.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado Manslaughter Laws," accessed Aug. 18, 2016

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