Vehicular Homicide Defense Attorneys in Maryland
Aggressively Defending the Rights of the Accused
A motorist may be arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter in Maryland if he or she operates a motor vehicle negligently – or while he or she is seriously impaired by drugs or alcohol – and unintentionally kills someone.
Maryland recognizes four distinct kinds of homicides involving motor vehicles, including:
- Criminally negligent manslaughter-by-vehicle
- Homicide by a motor vehicle while driving under the influence of alcohol
- Homicide by a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a controlled substance
A vehicular manslaughter conviction can result in tough penalties, including fines, jail time, and administrative penalties, such as loss of a driver’s license.
The Maryland vehicular homicide defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC recognize the seriousness of these charges and convictions. Our attorneys may be able to help you raise an effective legal defense to your charge or negotiate a favorable plea deal with the prosecution. If you have already been found guilty or convicted of vehicular manslaughter in Maryland, our attorneys may be able to represent you at a sentencing hearing and argue for a lighter sentence.
Maryland’s Vehicular Manslaughter Law
Vehicular manslaughter is one type of “homicide,” or an unlawful killing of another human being.
To prove that a person has broken Maryland’s vehicular manslaughter law, a prosecutor must demonstrate that:
- The person was driving, operating, or controlling a “vehicle” or “vessel”
- The operation was done in a “grossly negligent” or “criminally negligent” manner
- The death of another person resulted from the negligent conduct
Most vehicular manslaughter cases, especially in Maryland’s busy urban centers, involve motor vehicles. However, the word “vehicle” in Maryland’s vehicular manslaughter law also applies to streetcars, locomotives, engines, and trains. “Vessel” typically describes a boat of some kind.
Defenses against Vehicular Homicide
While the charges for homicide and the prosecution against defendants may result in serious penalties, you are considered innocent until proven guilty. Through a strong defense case, you may be able to dismiss or reduce your charges.
Common defense tactics against homicide by motor vehicle charges may include:
- Accident reconstruction – Evidence collected from the scene of the accident, such as photographs, traffic camera footage, eyewitness testimony, or measurements of the scene may be used to prove that the accused driver was not responsible for the crash.
- Proof of vehicle defects – If it is determined that the vehicle(s) involved in the crash were defective, the automobile manufacturer may be liable for damages instead of the accused driver.
- Insufficient evidence – It may be possible that there is a lack of causation between the accused driver’s actions and the resulting fatality.
- Excluding incriminating evidence – Any evidence obtained in violation of the accused driver’s constitutional rights may be excluded from the case. For example, if the accused was not read his or her Miranda Rights at the time of arrest, or if a drug or alcohol test was improperly administered.
- Intervening causes – The accused driver may be relieved of liability if it is determined that unforeseeable events led to the fatal auto accident, such as natural forces, conduct of animals, or negligent human conduct other than the accused.
To learn more about how Alpert Schreyer Poe can help fight your charges, call us at (301) 321-7277.
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Our legal team boasts over 70 years of combined experience defending the rights of the accused.
Our attorneys are former prosecutors who know how to recognize mistakes made by law enforcement.
We have an established reputations as one of Maryland's top-rated DUI defense firms.
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