A fatal car accident can cause harm to all parties involved, including you. Worse still, you can be charged with vehicular homicide in Ohio if you are to blame for the accident. A conviction for vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, or aggravated vehicular homicide may impact your life for years in the future.
If you are facing charges in Ohio, you need the assistance of a skilled Toledo vehicular homicide lawyer. A competent violent crime lawyer from Patituce & Associates can represent you in court, ensuring that you are treated properly, that your rights are upheld, and that you receive the best result for your case.
Contact our law firm at 419-737-4556 to schedule a free case review.
What Is Vehicular Homicide?
Vehicular homicide is killing another person while recklessly or dangerously operating a vehicle. You may be charged with vehicular manslaughter if you kill a pedestrian, bystander, passenger, or another motorist. Even if other drivers are involved in an accident, if you were negligent or reckless, you can be charged with vehicular homicide.
Excessive speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road, or ignoring traffic signals and signs are all examples of driver negligence that can lead to a charge of vehicular homicide.
Are There Types of Vehicular Homicide That Do Not Involve a DUI?
Other than drinking and driving, the following situations can result in an arrest for vehicular homicide.
- Drag or street racing: Drag racing is a sort of motorsport in which vehicles compete to cross a finish line first. The act is dangerous as it puts all road users in immediate danger.
- Excessively speeding: Excessive speed is defined as going over the posted speed limit. A speeding vehicle is challenging to control during emergencies and more susceptible to causing an accident.
- Attempting stunts: Stunts are intriguing things done to attract notice and gain notoriety. They are dangerous as they risk the lives of all road users.
Proximate Causes: Intentional Vs Unintentional?
Ohio uses proximate cause to determine the severity of a vehicular homicide charge. Unintentional proximate cause typically manifests as carelessness or a lack of attention. Typical carelessness could have been the mistake that led to someone else’s death.
- Run-throughs of stop signs and collisions with other vehicles
- Sending a text message while driving 10-15 mph over the speed limit
Intentional proximate cause manifests when you knowingly commit an act of recklessness. Driving 100 miles per hour on the freeway and causing a tragic accident is an illustration of intentional reckless behavior. The penalties for this would be more severe than for a crash caused by a minor traffic violation.
Types of Vehicular Homicide Charges and Potential Penalties in Ohio?
Ohio has different categories for the severity of vehicular homicides and the associated penalties. The classification of your case and the severity of the penalties depend on whether or not you were suspected of drinking, if your license was suspended, and if you’ve been convicted of a similar crime before.
Vehicular manslaughter involves unintentionally causing the death of another person as a result of committing a minor traffic violation, such as running a red light or speeding. This offense is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail, fines of up to $750, and license suspension.
If you were driving without a license or on a suspended license or were convicted of vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault before, you can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail.
A driver can be charged with vehicular homicide for causing a fatal accident by driving carelessly or by speeding in a construction zone. This is a first-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, the driver faces a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail, a fine of $1,000, and a five-year license suspension in Ohio.
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
Aggravated vehicular homicide is a felony. A driver may be judged guilty of aggravated vehicular murder for a fatal accident caused by reckless driving or DUI.
Aggravated vehicular homicide involving DUI/drugged driving or boating under the influence is a second-degree felony. The punishment is two to eight years in prison, fines up to $15,000, and permanent loss of your driver’s license.
Aggravated vehicular homicide involving reckless driving is a third-degree felony charge that carries a 9-month to 3-year prison sentence, a $10,000 maximum fine, and a three-year license suspension with the potential for a lifetime ban.
What Steps Should I Take to Protect Myself After I Get Charged With Vehicular Homicide in Ohio?
You need a strong defense plan to combat vehicular homicide allegations, and your attorney will handle the specifics. Here are some tips to apply when the police arrest you for vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter in Ohio.
- Do not resist arrest.
- Don’t divulge any information to the police other than your name and vehicle registration.
- Avoid trying to establish your innocence because anything you say can be used against you.
- Tell the police you are invoking your right to an attorney and consult our team at Patituce & Associates right away.
One of your main goals should be contacting a knowledgeable attorney who can assist you in defending yourself against charges of vehicular homicide in Ohio.
Speak With an Experienced Toledo Vehicular Homicide Lawyer Today!
Your life can be altered if you are convicted of vehicular homicide in Ohio. You can spend time in jail and lose your license if convicted of a crime. Additionally, it will appear on your public record, damaging your reputation and making it more difficult for you to get a job.
Consult our Toledo criminal defense attorneys immediately if you are charged with vehicular homicide in Toledo, Ohio. The vehicular homicide attorneys at Patituce & Associates know the law and what it takes to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
We provide proactive, superior legal counsel to our clients, ensuring their rights are upheld, and all available options are considered. Contact us at 419-737-4556 to arrange a free consultation with one of our vehicular homicide defense attorneys in Toledo.