A 40-year-old Mechanicsville man has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a fatal car accident that occurred in June 2012. According to a news report in Southern Maryland News Net report, the fatal crash that resulted in the charges occurred on June 30, 2012 at Three Notch Road and First Colony Boulevard. Officials say the man failed to stop at a red light and struck a Ford with his Dodge Durango.
The driver of the Ford succumbed to his injuries. The driver of the Dodge has been officially charged with felony negligent manslaughter by vehicle and misdemeanor criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle.
Manslaughter by vehicle is a criminal charge that carries significant penalties. Under Maryland Statute 2-210 (c), criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle is when a driver should be aware, but fails to realize, that his or her actions can result in a fatal accident. This is a misdemeanor charge that can result in up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Under Statute 2-209, manslaughter by vehicle by gross negligence is a felony punishable by 10 years of incarceration and a fine of $5,000.
It is important to remember that being arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter in Maryland is not the same thing as being convicted for manslaughter. You have an opportunity to fight the charges and negotiate for reduced penalties. The prosecution must prove that you negligently caused the accident and they will take every opportunity to hurt your reputation. It will be necessary to fight back with the help of an attorney.
A skilled vehicle manslaughter criminal defense lawyer will examine every possible cause of the crash while building a defense. There are many reasons why fatal accidents happen, and not every crash involves gross negligence worthy of punishment. Did the actions of the alleged victim contribute to the crash? Did the defendant’s vehicle undergo a mechanical malfunction? Was the accident a result of reasonable driver error and not gross negligence?
If you have been arrested for drunk driving or for causing a fatal crash, make sure you exercise your right to remain silent. Do not speak about the crash with the authorities until a lawyer is by your side, and consider all of your options before making any legal decisions.
The criminal defense team at Alpert Schreyer, LLC has a long and proven track record of fighting vehicle manslaughter charges in Maryland. Please contact us at (866) 444-6363 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.