Vehicular homicide charges are usually brought when a death occurs in a motor vehicle accident involving alcohol or reckless conduct in Tennessee. Crime reporter Jamie Satterfield reported on the efforts of two Knox County prosecutors to pursue a second degree murder charge instead of a vehicular homicide charge. One reason for the push is that a second degree murder charge carries a stiffer punishment.
Defending vehicular homicide charges in Tennessee is a complex area of criminal defense. The lawyer must be experience in both blood alcohol testing and accident reconstruction. Today's post focuses on one component of accident reconstruction.
Very often, when Tennessee prosecutors level vehicular homicide charges against individuals, evidence of alcohol can become an aggravating factor. But even if alcohol impairment isn't suspected, a conviction for vehicular homicide may be sought.
Among the news items getting a lot of attention around Nashville in the past few days has been the arrest of 3 Doors Down bassist Robert Todd Harrell. The musician was booked last weekend in connection with a fatal vehicle accident that occurred late Friday on Interstate 40. He's now free on bond and at last word had voluntarily entered a treatment facility.
Police are for it. A lot of lawmakers are for it. This week, leaders in the county where Dustin Ledford's family lives put the full weight of their approval behind a bill that would make it easier for Tennessee authorities to bring the law to bear more harshly on individuals suspected of causing a fatal accident while driving impaired.
The question of fault in a car accident is one that may be open to interpretation. If an accident results in a death and that death leads to accusations of vehicular assault or homicide, the future of the person charged in the case could be in jeopardy. It is wrong to presume guilt, though it is common to do exactly that.
Drinking and driving isn't an issue that is limited to the holiday weekends in Tennessee. But with the holidays may come a relaxed attitude about what it means to act responsibly. Anyone who pays attention to the news knows that police certainly do all they can to step up awareness about the bane of drunk driving during the holidays. It's enough to make one wonder just how different rates are for DUI arrests during holidays compared to all other weekends in a year.
If someone is charged with something as serious as vehicular homicide in Tennessee, it pays to take the matter seriously by enlisting the aid of experienced legal counsel. Any criminal charge deserves to be met with the most vigorous defense possible. That's particularly true of allegations of vehicular homicide because the penalties in the event of a conviction can be devastating -- even if it's a first-time offense.