Vehicular manslaughter in Maryland is a serious crime with penalties that could include prison time. Vehicular manslaughter usually refers to the killing of an individual through the reckless operation of a vehicle. It is sometimes referred to as a vehicular homicide. If you caused an accident where another person was killed, you could possibly face vehicular manslaughter charges if you were
- Driving distracted (including texting)
- Driving at an excessive speed over the limit
- Driving recklessly, i.e., drag racing
- Asleep at the wheel
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
There are different types of vehicular manslaughter charges, and the consequences of a conviction depend on the circumstances
Manslaughter by Vehicle
Involves “gross negligence” which is usually defined as behavior demonstrating a reckless disregard for human life. Under this standard, the driver knows that what he is doing will likely cause someone’s death but chooses to do so anyway. This is a felony and conviction carries up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $5000. Up to 15 years and a $10,000 fine for a second offense.
Criminally Negligent Manslaughter by Vehicle
“Criminal negligence” is present when a person should be aware, but fails to perceive that the person’s conduct creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk and this failure constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person. Talking on a cell phone while driving might be an example of this behavior. This is a misdemeanor and conviction can carry up to three years in jail and/or a fine up to $5000. Someone with a prior offense is guilty of a felony and faces up 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Negligent Homicide by Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol
Maryland takes a harsh stance on those who endanger the lives of others by drinking and getting behind the wheel. Therefore, this crime is a felony. First offenders can face up to 5 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5000. For a second conviction, the sentence can be up to 10 years and/or a $10,000 fine.
Negligent Homicide by Motor Vehicle While Impaired by Alcohol, Drugs, or a Controlled Substance
This crime is also a felony with a maximum sentence of three years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. Repeat offenders are looking at a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Contact a lawyer you can trust
The consequences of a vehicular homicide case can be very serious, so you want an attorney with experience on your side. Contact Alpert Schreyer, LLC or call us at 866-444-6363 and we will work relentlessly to provide you with the best defense.