Vehicular homicide is the most severe type of driving under the influence charge that can be faced. These are very emotional cases. Someone has lost a life, many times the person charged knows the person who has died (passenger vehicular homicide). Remorse and fear can overtake the person charged with this offense. However, even under these circumstances, one must protect their rights and fight for freedom. In some cases the charges are completely unfounded. When a fatal car accident occurs, law enforcement tends to believe that any person who had an alcohol or drug content in their blood is the guilty party, and may end the investigation immediately. Whatever the situation is, you know that you need powerful legal representation from an attorney at once.
DUI Homicide by Vehicle Penalties
Each state refers to vehicular homicide in a slightly different way. In Georgia, it is more common to refer to this offense as "homicide by vehicle." According to the Georgia Code Title 40 Motor Vehicles Chapter 6, Article 15, § 40-6-393, "Any person without malice aforethought who causes the death of another person through violation of (this section) commits the offense of homicide by vehicle in the first degree and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three years nor more than 15" (emphasis added). Unlike murder, vehicular homicide is not planned or premeditated. There are two degrees of vehicular homicide in Georgia:
First Degree Homicide by Vehicle
This crime is punishable by imprisonment for three to 15 years in addition to possible fines.
Second Degree Homicide by Vehicle
According to the previously mentioned statute, second degree homicide by vehicle is punishable by § 18-10-3 of the code which states: a fine up to $1,000 and imprisonment up to one year.
The charge of vehicular homicide can be either a felony (first degree) or a misdemeanor (second degree) depending upon the details of the case and the responsibility determined to belong to the alleged offender by the prosecutor. Either charge is serious. Misdemeanor vehicular homicide is the result of a death caused by the violation of the basic traffic laws and rules of the road. Felony vehicular homicide is the result of a death caused by DUI or reckless driving.
It becomes of utmost importance to handle the driving while intoxicated portion of the charge immediately if you hope to avoid a felony vehicular manslaughter charge. Dealing with such a serious situation requires the most experienced and qualified defense lawyer in the area. At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson, the legal team has over 20 years of experience in dealing exclusively with all types of serious criminal driving under the influence charges. Finding a compelling defense for the DUI portion of the charge is so important that the legal team will make this effort their top priority. When your future is at stake, it is strongly recommended that you contact this outstanding law firm to immediately begin the actions necessary to defend your case.