When the operator of a motor vehicle is involved in an accident that causes the death of another person, they may be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This charge is serious and can result in time behind bars. There are two degrees of vehicular manslaughter that a person can be charged with, one more serious than the next.
Vehicular Manslaughter: Second Degree
A charge of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree is administered when a person who is operating a motor vehicle causes another person to become deceased as a result of their actions. This charge applies if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time the deceased person became injured. In addition, if the vehicle contains explosive, radioactive, or flammable gas that causes the death in combination with a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol, it may result in this charge. A second-degree vehicular manslaughter charge is classified as a class D felony.
Vehicular Manslaughter: First Degree
The more severe of the vehicular manslaughter charges is vehicular manslaughter in the first degree. If the motorist had a blood alcohol content of .18 percent or higher, they can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This charge is also applicable if the motorist’s license was suspended or revoked, if the offender caused the death of multiple people, or has been charged with another violation of operating a motor vehicle in a previous circumstance. In addition, a person who commits vehicular manslaughter that results in the death of a child below the age of 15 will be charged in the first degree. First-degree vehicular manslaughter is considered a class C felony.
If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can provide you with assistance.
If you are in need of experienced legal counsel in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.