What is Vehicular Homicide?
If you have been charged with homicide relating to the operation of a vehicle, you may be confused by the nature of the charges against you. Vehicular homicide in the state of Arizona may take different forms based upon the circumstances. An experienced attorney can help you decipher the accusations you face and determine the best line of defense for your case. At the Law Offices of David A. Black, we understand what you are going through. We also have the experience to defend those charges, and we will explain our defense plan in language that you can understand.
Vehicular homicide may be charged as:
- Negligent Homicide. This is the least serious homicide charge you could face. It reflects the inability to grasp the risks involved in your actions, where a reasonable person would have appreciated those risks and acted accordingly. It also requires proof that you were guilty of a gross deviation of the reasonable standard of care.
- Manslaughter. The charges and possible consequences increase if the driver is aware of the possible outcome of his or her behavior and recklessly chooses to ignore those risks, resulting in the death of a person or unborn child.
- Second-degree murder. You may be faced with this Class 1 felony charge if it is alleged that there was an extreme indifference to the risk of human life, and that your actions led to the death of another person or an unborn child.
Many of these cases involve driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but these are not necessary elements of any of these crimes. If you have been charged with vehicular homicide, Mr. Black will examine the case against you to and formulate an appropriate response to protect your interests. As in all such cases, the prosecution is required to prove all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction, and wherever possible we will challenge the evidence on your behalf.
Penalties in Vehicular Homicide Cases
Each of the possible homicide charges can result in a felony conviction if you are found guilty. They carry serious consequences, including the following:
- Jail/Prison time. A guilty verdict can result in jail or prison time, in some cases leading to years behind bars.
- Financial penalties. If convicted, you may find yourself facing court-imposed fines and other costs.
- Civil charges. The family of the deceased may also choose to bring civil charges against you, seeking restitution for the loss of life incurred as a result of your actions.
- Loss of license. Driving a motor vehicle is a part of many daily activities, and losing this ability can add stress to both your personal and professional life.
Fighting vehicular homicide charges can be an emotional and traumatic experience, but a skilled attorney can relieve some of the burden. Schedule your free consultation with David A. Black via his website, by phone at (480) 280-8028 or at the office located at 40 North Central Ave., Suite 1400, Phoenix, Arizona, 85004.