Facing charges of vehicular manslaughter is no laughing matter. Protecting yourself requires knowledge. The more information you have before a judge, the more likely you will receive a favorable ruling.
The moment you face such a charge, begin educating yourself about this delicate topic.
Defining vehicular manslaughter
Vehicular manslaughter differs from other forms of manslaughter. In those cases, the alleged thoughts of the defendant are most relevant. With vehicular manslaughter, what matters is the degree of negligence.
For a conviction, a court must prove you are guilty of committing a vehicular infraction. A dangerous yet legal action while driving could likewise form the basis of a charge. Evidence of negligence must also be demonstrable in court. Finally, the death of another person is necessary for a charge to stick. Successfully refuting any of these elements could result in a dismissal.
Defining gross negligence
A court might decide you are guilty of ordinary negligence or gross negligence. It is better to face a charge of ordinary negligence, as this often merits leniency. Failing to halt for a stop sign is an example of ordinary negligence.
Gross negligence implies serious disregard for the safety of others. Driving at extreme speeds falls into this category. So does the operation of a vehicle while intoxicated. Combining infractions at lower levels can form an argument that gross negligence applies.
Felony manslaughter charges involving gross negligence may land defendants behind bars for up to six years. Hiring an experienced attorney often helps limit sentencing.
Dodging a manslaughter conviction involves a thorough understanding of the law. Work with a legal expert and arm yourself with the necessary information.