Maryland Vehicular Homicide Lawyer

Vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter are criminal charges with lasting consequences. If you have been arrested for this offense, contact a Maryland vehicular homicide lawyer as soon as possible. The facts and nuances of every case are different, but a seasoned criminal attorney could examine how the law would impact your specific situation and help you determine the best course of action to proceed.

Types of Vehicular Homicide in Maryland

Maryland law recognizes four distinct types of vehicular homicide. An attorney in the area could recognize the gravity of these charges and help the accused raise an effective legal defense or negotiate with the prosecution. The types of vehicular homicide in Maryland are as follows:

  • Manslaughter by a vehicle
  • Homicide by a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol
  • Criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle
  • Homicide by a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a controlled substance

Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 2-209 identifies manslaughter by vehicle as causing another person’s death while driving with gross negligence. Criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle is a less serious offense, involving killing someone else while driving in a criminally negligent manner. To establish gross negligence, the prosecution would be required to show that the accused was aware of the risk to human life posed by their conduct and consciously disregarded that risk.

With criminal negligence, the burden of proof would be on the prosecution to establish that the accused should have been but was not aware of the unjustifiable and substantial risk their conduct posed to human life. The other two kinds of vehicular homicide are DWI/DUI related. Vehicular homicide under the influence of alcohol is when someone kills another individual while substantially alcohol impaired or while driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more. Impaired vehicular homicide involves causing someone’s death while the accused’s normal coordination is affected by drugs, alcohol, or a controlled substance. A knowledgeable local lawyer could explain the type of vehicular homicide applicable to a particular case.

The Penalties for Vehicular Homicide

The penalties associated with a vehicular homicide conviction are based on the circumstances surrounding the charge. A Maryland lawyer who is well-versed in the jurisdictional rules governing vehicular homicide cases could explain the law in detail as it applies to the defendant’s situation. The possible penalties are as follows.

Manslaughter by Vehicle

Manslaughter by vehicle is categorized as a felony. A conviction is punishable by up to ten year’s incarceration and/or up to $5,000 in fines. If someone has a prior conviction for vehicular manslaughter or homicide, they could face up to 15 years’ incarceration and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

Homicide by Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol

This type of offense is also classified as a felony. First-time offenses are punishable by up to five years’ in prison and/or fines up to $5,000. In the case of a second conviction, enhanced penalties could apply, including up to ten year’s incarceration and/or a maximum $10,000 in fines.

Criminally Negligent Manslaughter by Vehicle

Maryland law generally views criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle as a misdemeanor offense, with convictions punishable by prison terms up to three years and/or up to $5,000 in fines. However, if someone has a previous conviction for vehicular homicide or manslaughter on their record, the alleged offense could be elevated to a felony, punishable by up to five year’s imprisonment and/or $10,000 maximum in fines.

Homicide by a Motor Vehicle While Impaired by Drugs, Alcohol, or a Controlled Substance

Also classified as a felony, a conviction for this type of offense is accompanied by up to three year’s incarceration and/or upwards of $5,000 in fines. A second conviction could enhance the term of incarceration to five years and subject the individual to a maximum of $10,000 in fines.

Talk to a Maryland Vehicular Homicide Attorney

While the charges for vehicular homicide and the prosecution against the accused could lead to severe penalties, you are considered innocent until proven guilty. Through a strong defense case with the aid of a Maryland vehicular homicide lawyer, you could be able to reduce your charges or even get them dismissed.

Learn more about how professional legal assistance could help you fight your charges. Call today to schedule your confidential consultation.

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