Vehicular Homicide Attorneys in Maryland
Secure Legal Representation for Vehicular Manslaughter Charges Immediately!
Vehicular homicide carries serious consequences, not just for your present but for your future as well. To get the charges reduced or dismissed, you’ll need the help of an aggressive Maryland vehicular manslaughter lawyer who can gather the appropriate evidence to build an effective defense on your behalf.
Definition of Vehicular Manslaughter in Maryland
Vehicular manslaughter 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 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
Different Types of Manslaughter & Homicide by Vehicle Charges
There are different types of vehicular manslaughter that you may be charged with and an experienced attorney will be able to build a specific defense against the charges you are facing and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
Types of Maryland vehicular manslaughter and homicide by vehicle charges:
- Negligent Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel
- Criminally Negligent Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel
- Negligent Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while under the influence of alcohol
- Negligent Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by alcohol
- Negligent Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
- Negligent Homicide by motor vehicle or vessel while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance
Maryland Vehicular Manslaughter Fines & Sentencing
Recent court rulings are strengthening the punishments and consequences for those who commit vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol. Judges sometimes use these kinds of penalties to deter others from drinking and driving.
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.
If you are facing such charges with a Maryland vehicular manslaughter attorney on your side, you may be able to get those charges reduced or dismissed depending upon the circumstances surrounding your case.
Defenses for Vehicular Homicide Charges
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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