If you’ve been involved in a car accident, there’s a chance you could be accused of vehicular homicide or manslaughter. There is a particularly high chance of this if you’ve been charged with a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent or if it appears that you intended to cause harm to another person or that person’s property.
What is vehicular homicide?
Vehicular homicide is when a person’s death is caused by another person’s reckless driving. It doesn’t mean that the driver needs intent to hurt another, just that he or she did so while acting recklessly.
What is the difference between homicide and manslaughter?
Vehicular manslaughter is slightly different in that the person charged may have intended to cause the other person harm. Manslaughter itself is a Class 4 felony punishable by up to $500,000 in fines and up to six years in prison.
Vehicular homicide may be a Class 4 or Class 3 felony. Class 4 felonies do not include drug or alcohol use, while Class 3 felonies do. A driver is identified as being under the influence of alcohol when his or her blood alcohol concentration is at least .08 percent.
If you’re accused of vehicular homicide or manslaughter, it’s important that you protect yourself with a strong defense. These are serious charges that can lead to penalties like heavy fines and a prison sentence. If a person was injured or killed, you could also face personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits from the families of the victim on top of a criminal case.
Source: FindLaw, “Colorado Manslaughter Laws,” accessed Feb. 10, 2017