It should come as no surprise to anyone facing criminal charges. Getting convicted of a vehicular assault or homicide can lead to major fines, restricted driving privileges and serious jail time. You could have your driving abilities revoked, leaving you unable to get to work or manage your children’s schedules. Worse, you could wind up behind bars, changing your and your family’s lives forever.
Vehicular homicide falls under the umbrella of involuntary manslaughter, or an unpremeditated accident that leads to someone’s death. To be legally guilty, three things must be proven:
- An action by the defendant was the cause of someone else’s death.
- That action showed reckless behavior on the part of the defendant.
- The defendant was aware or should have been aware that his or her actions could imperil the people around.
One of the most common examples of this is a person who’s inebriated and causes a car crash or hits a pedestrian. There may have never been any intent to kill another human being, but the defendant’s intoxication helps meet the three requirements for guilt detailed above.
Still, just because you find yourself charged with vehicular assault or homicide, it doesn’t mean you have no rights. Criminal cases are filled with all manner of small details. The police who responded to the call must have conducted themselves in a legal manner, especially when it comes to the gathering of evidence.
Because of this, it’s almost always a good idea to contact an attorney. He or she can conduct an investigation into your case and help build a solid defense. Even if you plan to plead guilty, an attorney may be able to get the charges reduced.