Washington DC Vehicular Homicide Lawyer

Collisions involving vehicles and other cars place immense forces on the people inside. These forces can be magnified if the person struck is a pedestrian or is riding a motorcycle. Unfortunately, this leads to personal injuries that can result in severe injuries. In rare instances, the victims in these crashes may even be killed.

While this can result in civil lawsuits that have an immense impact on a driver’s finances, most deaths that occur on the road are not criminal cases. However, under very specific circumstances, Washington DC laws allow police to arrest the driver and charge them with the felony of negligent homicide. A conviction here will jeopardize a person’s ability to drive and may result in up to five years in prison.

A Washington DC vehicular homicide lawyer may be able to prevent this from happening. Skilled attorneys work to contest both the idea that their client was at fault for the accident that caused the death and that their conduct was so poor as to warrant a criminal charge.

Vehicular Homicide in Washington DC

Vehicular homicide is any death that results from a car accident. Unlike other forms of homicide that require a prosecutor to prove criminal intent, vehicular homicide charges can result from a traffic accident. According to DC Code §50-2203.01, this is known as negligent homicide.

The term negligent is used because the statute’s language allows a conviction if a defendant drives in a reckless, careless, or negligent manner and causes the death of another. The statute specifically says that willful or wanton conduct does not apply here. If for instance a defendant intentionally strikes a victim with their car, this would count as murder or manslaughter.

Ultimately, it may be up to a jury to decide if a defendant’s driving rises to the level of being careless or reckless. A Washington DC vehicular homicide lawyer could help to rebut this idea at trial.

The Penalties for a Vehicular Homicide Conviction

Vehicular homicide is a felony level crime. This is almost unique in Washington DC’s criminal code in that the defendant did not mean to cause any harm to another person, yet the charge remains a felony. As such, the potential penalties for a conviction are harsh.

The main concern is the potential prison sentence. The maximum sentence for a conviction here is five years in prison. In addition, a heavy fine may be assessed. A Washington DC felony can never be erased from a criminal record and will follow a person for the rest of their life.

A vehicular homicide conviction will also negatively affect a person’s driving record. A conviction is worth 12 points on a license, enough to have the license revoked. Therefore, even if people who are convicted for vehicular manslaughter, and are fortunate to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, they will still be made to endure harsh penalties.

Work with a Washington DC Vehicular Homicide Attorney Today

Vehicular homicide, or negligent homicide as it is known in Washington DC’s penal code, is a serious criminal offense. Even though the defendant did not mean to cause any harm, when an accident causes a death that is the result of reckless or careless conduct, criminal charges may follow.

A Washington DC vehicular homicide lawyer is dedicated to protecting the rights of their clients. They work to rebut the notion that the accident was their client’s fault and that their conduct was so poor as to merit criminal charges. The penalties for a conviction are severe; take a positive step to protect yourself. Contact a Washington DC vehicular homicide lawyer today.