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Detroit Legal Blog

What is Vehicular Manslaughter?

Apr 17, 2017, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense, Legal Blog, Traffic

Moving vehicles can be deadly when operated without caution. In situations where you didn’t mean to cause a death while operating a vehicle, but reckless or intoxicated driving resulted in a fatality, you may be charged with vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide.

Michigan has laws that impose harsh penalties for these crimes. If you’ve been charged with vehicular manslaughter, you face years of prison time and fines if convicted. Additionally, you will gain a felony conviction on your criminal record which can negatively affect your future prospects for employment, housing, and other aspects of life. You need a Detroit vehicular manslaughter lawyer to help protect your rights and defend your case.

Call Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238.

Vehicular Manslaughter Involving Intoxication

To be convicted of vehicular homicide due to driving under the influence (DUI), prosecutors have to prove that you voluntarily or knowingly drove a vehicle after consuming alcohol or controlled substances and were impaired as a result. All DUI cases require this for a conviction. For vehicular manslaughter, prosecutors also have to prove that driving the vehicle caused the death of the person involved.

Michigan, like most states, imposes serious criminal penalties for offenses that involve drunk driving. Under Michigan Compiled Laws (MCL), if you cause the death of a person while driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be found guilty of a felony. Under the law:

  • A conviction may result in prison time of up to 15 years and a fine between $2,500 and $10,000.
  • If you have a BAC of 0.17 percent or higher, then the penalty is enhanced and may be up to 20 years of time in prison.
  • If the victim is a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel, then the penalty may also be enhanced to up to 20 years of imprisonment.

A conviction can also result in vehicle forfeiture, required immobilization of the vehicle, and restitution to victims.

Reckless Driving and Moving Violations that Cause Death

Under the Michigan Vehicle Code, if you drive a vehicle recklessly – willfully or wantonly disregarding the safety of people or property – and cause the death of another, you are guilty of a felony similar to manslaughter involving intoxication. The sentence for this offense is also similar: up to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine between $2,500 and $10,000.

Additionally, the Code also defines the crime of committing a moving violation while driving that causes the death of another as a misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by up to a year of incarceration and up to a $2,000 fine.

Defending Against Criminal Charges

Davis Law Group can help you if you’ve been charged with vehicular manslaughter or other vehicular offenses that result in the death of a person. Prosecutors are prone to overreach, especially when there is a death involved. We will ensure that your rights are protected and that your potential defenses are adequately explored and investigated.

Attorney Maurice Davis is dedicated to providing clients with all that they need to mount the most effective defense possible to the charges against them. Regardless of the offenses you’ve been charged with, we will put our experience, skills, and time to help you reach a favorable outcome in your case. If you’ve been charged with a crime, we will take the time to listen to the facts of your case with compassion and understanding.

Don’t hesitate to call us today at (313) 818-3238 to receive a free and confidential consultation.

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