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Penalties for Vehicular Homicide

Penalties for Vehicular Homicide


Vehicular homicide is a serious crime with serious penalties. The penalties for this crime vary depending on the state where the homicide occurred, the degree of the homicide, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. Vehicular homicide can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense.


For example, in Georgia first degree vehicular homicide occurs when a driver unlawfully met or overtook a school bus; unlawfully failed to stop after a collision; was driving recklessly; was driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; failed to stop for, or otherwise was attempting to flee from a law enforcement officer; or had previously been declared a habitual violator. A conviction for first degree vehicular homicide is punishable by 3 to 15 years of imprisonment. If the driver is a habitual violator, the range of punishment is 5 to 20 years.


Second degree vehicular homicide in Georgia includes all vehicular homicides without intent to kill that involve any other violations of the motor vehicle laws. Second degree vehicular homicide is a misdemeanor that is punishable by imprisonment or other confinement for up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000.00, or both. However, punishment may be suspended or a probation sentence may be received.


In California, ordinary vehicular manslaughter is punishable by up to one year in the county jail or a state prison sentence of 16 months, 2 years or 3 years. Gross vehicular manslaughter is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 4, 6, or 10 years. If the offender has prior drunk driving enhancements, the sentence is 15 years in state prison.


If you have been charged with vehicular homicide you should immediately contact an experienced criminal law attorney. As the laws vary dramatically from state to state, an experienced attorney will best be able to advise you on how to proceed in order to best protect your legal rights.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.


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