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What is Vehicular Homicide?

In some auto accident cases, the actions of the person who caused the crash may be classified as “vehicular homicide,” also referred to as vehicular manslaughter. In such a case, the accident involved the death of someone other than the driver due to either grossly negligent or intentionally malicious operation of a vehicle. The general idea is that a person’s especially dangerous driving resulted in the death of another person, such as another driver, a pedestrian, a cyclist or a passenger in the offender’s own car.

Below are a few examples of some specific types of vehicular homicide:

  • Reckless or negligent driving: In some circumstances, a person may be charged with vehicular homicide for driving so recklessly or negligently that it results in another person’s death. The prosecution must demonstrate the driver knew (or should have known) his or her driving was risky, but disregarded that risk anyway.
  • Traffic violations: In some states, a person could be charged with vehicular homicide if the accident causing another person’s death came as a result of the offender committing a traffic violation, such as fleeing law enforcement or driving under the influence.
  • Alcohol and drugs: A driver who is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs while behind the wheel may be charged with vehicular homicide if his or her actions lead to the death of another person.

These are just a few examples of how a vehicular homicide charge may get applied in certain cases. To learn more about how auto accidents can occasionally intersect with criminal law, speak with an experienced lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.