Understanding vehicular homicide
At the Law Office of Rob McKinney in Tennessee, we know that good people can sometimes make bad choices. For instance, you may have been at a sports bar cheering on your team with your friends and lost track of how much you had to drink. On your drive home, you were involved in an accident that resulted in the death of someone in the other car. You did not intend to cause an accident and you certainly did not intend to cause someone’s death. Nevertheless, you were charged with vehicular homicide.
FindLaw.com explains that in Tennessee, vehicular homicide is one of three types of involuntary manslaughter. The other two are reckless homicide and criminally negligent homicide. While the penalties upon conviction of involuntary manslaughter generally are not as severe as those for intentional homicides such as murder or voluntary manslaughter, all involuntary manslaughter charges are serious and conviction can result in substantial penalties.
Vehicular homicide penalties
Conviction of vehicular homicide while drinking and driving is a Class B felony that carries the same or higher penalties as those for voluntary manslaughter. You could face up to 30 years in prison. In addition, you could be fined as much as $25,000.
Civil suit potential
Even if you are acquitted of vehicular homicide in the criminal court, the victim’s family could bring a wrongful death action against you seeking damages for their loss. Since the burden of proof in a wrongful death suit is less than that required in a criminal case, you could be held liable for the person’s death and a considerable monetary judgment could be rendered against you. For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website.