The Consequences of Vehicular Homicide
When you think of the legal consequences of car accidents, you probably focus on civil lawsuits like personal injury and wrongful death cases. But depending on the circumstances, the person responsible for the accident might also face criminal charges.
A common example is negligent homicide with a motor vehicle.
What Is Negligent Homicide with a Motor Vehicle?
Negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, or vehicular homicide, happens when a negligent driver causes another person’s death. Here are a few things you need to know if you are charged with this crime:
- A driver is negligent if he or she fails to use a reasonable amount of care. This is based on what ordinary people do under similar circumstances. In other words, if most people keep a safe distance between vehicles and obey posted traffic signs, then it is considered negligent when someone does not follow these practices;
- Even if a driver acted negligently, he or she cannot be convicted of vehicular homicide unless there is proof that the negligence actually caused the victim’s death. If there is not a direct link between the negligent act and the death, then the driver is not guilty. For example, imagine that a driver ran a stop sign and crashed into a vehicle, but the other driver suffered a heart attack moments before the accident happened. If the legal cause of the victim’s death is cardiac-related then the negligent driver cannot be held responsible;
- People found guilty of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle can be fined up to $1,000 and/or imprisoned up to six months. Those found guilty of negligent homicide with a commercial vehicle can be fined up to $2,500 and imprisoned up to six months; and
- Offenders might also lose temporarily lose their driver’s license.
Examples of Vehicular Homicide
- A Milford man was recently charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide with a motor vehicle after a deadly car accident. He crashed while racing another car, killing his wife, unborn child, and a friend.
- In June 2018, a 37-year-old man died after a car crashed into his motorcycle in New Haven. It was a hit-and-run incident, but a suspect has been arrested and charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle (among other charges).
- In September 2017, a 24-year-old woman ran a stop sign in Lenox, crashing into a couple from Stockbridge. The husband and wife died from their injuries. The 24-year-old driver, who was apparently distracted by a GPS device when she ran the stop sign, is facing vehicular homicide charges.
Let Us Help You with Your Case
Do not hesitate to reach out to the experienced Fairfield criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today if you are charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. This is a serious charge, which is why you need an experienced attorney on your side.