Taking the life of another person carries significant and lasting consequences, no matter how this event occurred. In New York state, criminal negligent homicide is defined as any careless or reckless conduct that leads to the death of a person. When the circumstances involve an intoxicated driver whose recklessness causes the death of another, the driver could face vehicular manslaughter charges. All three classifications of vehicular manslaughter carry weighty penalties. If you are currently facing vehicular manslaughter charges in New York, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected.
Vehicular Manslaughter in the First and Second Degree
Vehicular manslaughter in the second degree occurs when an intoxicated person operates a motor vehicle, which leads to the death of someone else. In order for prosecutors to create a compelling case, they will need to establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship between the intoxicated driver’s actions and the subsequent loss of life. A conviction for vehicular manslaughter in the second degree carries a prison sentence of up to seven years, $5,000 in fines, and other restrictions on your freedom. However, certain factors can elevate this charge to vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, which carries weather penalties. For instance, if the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .18 percent or more, was driving with a suspended license, caused the death of more than one person, had a previous vehicular manslaughter conviction, or had other relevant factors that could elevate the charge to vehicular manslaughter in the first degree, the defendant could face up to 15 years in prison, costly fines, and other serious consequences if convicted.
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
In cases where the prosecution can demonstrate that the driver was engaging in reckless driving in addition to committing the crime of vehicular manslaughter, the driver may be charged with aggravated vehicular homicide. It must be shown that second-degree manslaughter and reckless driving were involved, as well as other factors, such as a BAC of .18 percent or more, a prior DWI conviction within the past ten years, a victim who was under the age of 15, or other significant factors. If convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide, the defendant could face up to 25 years in prison, $5,000 in fines, and additional lasting consequences.
Representation You Can Trust
Acts of criminally negligent homicide are prosecuted aggressively in New York. As soon as you know you are facing vehicular manslaughter charges, contact a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss your situation. Your attorney will listen carefully to your side of the story and get to work on a solid legal strategy that aims to secure you the best possible outcome given the specifics of your case. Do not gamble with your future or your freedom—speak to an attorney right away to ensure your rights are upheld at every stage of the legal process.
If you are currently facing vehicular manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide charges in the Queens or greater New York City area, contact the Law Office of Adrienne D. Edward, P.C. at (347) 887-3811 today to speak to a trusted criminal defense lawyer.