Most people take deliberate action behind the wheel to avoid causing any sort of collision. Unfortunately, issues ranging from bad driving on someone else’s part to weather could make it impossible for you to prevent an accidental collision.
While you may have been able to walk away from the crash, it is possible that people in the other vehicle wound up hurt or even died as a result of that collision. In that situation, you may find yourself worrying about whether you will face criminal charges under Florida’s vehicular homicide law.
Not every crash that ends with a fatality results in criminal prosecution against one of the drivers. Understanding the difference between what constitutes a tragic accident and a case of vehicular homicide under Florida law can help you make better decisions in the wake of a serious collision.
Reckless driving is a key part of a vehicular homicide case
Sometimes, road conditions and traffic conditions combine to create a perfect storm scenario where an accident is all but inevitable and neither party is directly responsible for the crash. Other times, one individual involved in the collision drove in such a manner that the likelihood of a crash increased substantially.
Reckless driving involves a variety of different actions, ranging from exceeding the posted speed limit to choosing not to adjust your driving habits for inclement weather. Impaired driving, as well as distracted driving, could also qualify as reckless behavior, in some situations.
What qualifies as reckless will vary depending on the circumstances of the collision, as well as the law enforcement officers and judge involved in your case. However, if you made a decision to engage in a behavior that increased your risk of a crash, that could provide grounds for a vehicular homicide charge.
Just because you were part of a crash doesn’t mean you’re guilty of a crime
Many people facing vehicular homicide charges are already racked with guilt over causing injury and death to another person. They don’t need the additional burden of a criminal conviction marring their future. A vehicular homicide conviction could mean jail time, as well as fines. It could also make it easier for the family of the deceased to sue you in civil court.
The good news is that if you or someone you love is accused of vehicular homicide, it is possible to defend against such allegations. Sitting down to talk with an experienced Florida defense attorney can help.
You will likely want to carefully review the accident report and any other documentation related to the vehicular homicide charge against you. It could be that a simple mistake or misinterpretation is the cause of your situation. A criminal defense attorney can review your case and help you make the best decisions to protect your future after a fatal crash.