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Nashville Vehicular Homicide Lawyers

What is Vehicular Homicide?

Vehicular homicide is one of those crimes that non-criminals are often accused of. That is, normal, law-abiding people with no intention to harm anyone are charged because of the results of a breath, urine, or blood test after a fatal car accident. The amount of alcohol involved may have been modest, and yet the allegedly at-fault driver may face serious criminal charges.

The person who was killed may have even caused the accident by committing a traffic violation. The person who died may have been a jaywalking pedestrian — who may also have been drinking before the accident. However, when the evidence of the blood alcohol content test of one of the drivers turns up a BAC of .08% or higher — even the less responsible one — that person is typically charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

Have you been arrested for vehicular homicide? Contact the attorneys at May McKinney in Nashville for a confidential review of your case. We can take immediate action to protect your rights.

Vehicular Homicide Investigations in Tennessee

When a death occurs, vehicular homicide charges are often brought against a driver with a blood alcohol content above a certain level, even a driver who did not disobey any rules of the road.

According to Tennessee Code § 39-13-213, however, vehicular homicide charges should only apply if a driver recklessly causes a fatal traffic accident as a result of:

  • Engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious injury or death;
  • Under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs; or
  • Engaging in drag racing.

These charges may also apply if a driver acts recklessly in a construction zone and kills a Department of Transportation or highway construction workers.

Probation and Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee

Many drivers are well aware of Tennessee's strict laws pertaining to drunk driving, but not everyone realizes how complex the trial and sentencing process can be.

For example, there is an aspect of Tennessee law that provides judges with wide discretion in sentencing individuals convicted of vehicular homicide involving alcohol. In some cases, a person found guilty of vehicular homicide may face a lighter sentence than a person convicted of drunk driving multiple times.

Perhaps the main factors affecting a judge's decision in such a case are what sort of sentence the family of the deceased wants for the driver and whether the driver has any previous convictions. There have been some cases in which people convicted of vehicular homicide have avoided jail time and been sentenced to eight to 12 years of probation instead. Such cases are very rare, though.

If you have been accused of vehicular homicide involving alcohol, one thing to remember is that the prosecution must prove that the proximate cause of the death and the accident was alcohol. Depending on the facts of a particular case, it may be possible to have the charge reduced or even dismissed.

Facing Vehicular Homicide Charges in Nashville?

As with any other criminal case, every element should be examined carefully. Simply being involved in or even causing a fatal accident does not necessarily warrant a vehicular homicide charge. We will look to every possible defense to challenge such charges. We also offer additional insight on this important topic on our page: Defending a Vehicular Homicide Case.

For resourceful, determined defense counsel from our Nashville vehicular homicide lawyers, call (615) 265-6383 or contact us online.

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