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New York Penal Law 125.13: Vehicular manslaughter in the first degree

Vehicular Manslaughter Description
When a driver causes the death of another person while driving, it’s considered vehicular manslaughter. The death could be of a passenger in the same car as the driver, someone walking on the road or a sidewalk or someone who is a passenger or driver in another car. This is a charge often given if the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident or if the driver is doing something reckless on the road, such as speeding or swerving in and out of traffic.

The actual charge of vehicular manslaughter is somewhat new. It used to be declared manslaughter and treated more like a homicide. The penalties of vehicular manslaughter are usually less severe than others in the same category, which could mean less time spent in jail and lower fines that would be paid.

Examples Of Vehicular Manslaughter And What To Look For
When there is a question of how to charge the driver when a death occurs in an accident, there are several components that the police officer and court will look at, such as negligence while driving. Any kind of carelessness while driving will often result in a charge of vehicular manslaughter. The driver might have an electronic device in the hand or lean over and reach for something on the floorboard of the car, not paying attention to the road for a split second. In these few moments, an accident can occur and cause the death of someone in the car or in another car.

Gross negligence is a step above simply proving that the driver is negligent while driving. An example would be someone who drinks before driving or who runs a red light and hits a car. Another example that is becoming all too common is when the driver is on the wrong side of the road. Failing brake is also an example of a way that a driver is negligent while on the road. If a driver is intoxicated while behind the wheel, then it’s a bit easier to prove negligence. There are statutes that drivers must abide by while driving. If a death results because the statutes are not upheld, then the driver can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. An example is keeping the windshield clear of debris and clean so that the driver can see the road. Not obeying traffic signs, such as “no passing” or speeding at a significant point past the posted limit are other ways that vehicular manslaughter charges can come into play. The driver could also face charges if a death occurs because of falling asleep behind the wheel.

Common Defenses
When you talk to a NYC criminal attorney, you need to offer as many details as possible about the accident as the attorney will look for any way to show that you weren’t at fault. The attorney possesses the skills needed to offer a defense against the prosecution, such as swerving to miss an animal or an object in the road. There is an option to re-create the accident in a virtual manner to get a better understanding of what happened, which can sometimes show who was at fault in a clear depiction. The attorney will be able to talk to the prosecution about any kind of plea bargain or try to get a sentence reduced as you could face several years in prison if convicted.

New York Penal Law 125.12: Vehicular manslaughter in the second Degree

If alcohol or drugs intoxicate you, and you kill someone while you are in the driver’s seat of a car, SUV, minivan, or any other vehicle, you are likely to face a vehicular manslaughters charge. According to the New York criminal code, there are three charges you can face if you are involved in killing another person as a result of drug or alcohol intoxication. They include the first-degree vehicular manslaughter and the second-degree vehicular manslaughter. You can also face a charge related to aggravated vehicular homicide. For all these tree offenses, the least serious charge is the second-degree vehicular manslaughter. However, this charge still belongs to a class of felony.

Under the New York penal code: 125:12, you are more likely to face a second-degree vehicular manslaughter if you kill someone and:
• You operate an all-terrain vehicle or a snow-mobile car while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs. Or
• You operate a vehicle while you are legally intoxicated and the car contains some flammable gas, explosives, or radioactive material in it. Or
• You operate a vehicle while you are legally intoxicated. In this case, your alcohol level in the blood falls below .08 or driving under the impairment and influence of the drugs.

Example
George went to a friend’s home for a birthday party where they eat and consume several alcohol drinks for more than four hours. When he feels exhausted, he leaves the room at 1:00 am. For more than 10 minutes of driving away from that home, he collides with another car. The other car’s driver dies three days later after the incidence due to the sustained injuries. George’s BAC level was revealed through a chemical test to be .09. George could face prosecution for the second-degree vehicular manslaughter.

Related offenses
1. Reckless driving: New York Penal Law 1212
2. Aggravated vehicular homicide: New York Penal Law 125:14
3. First-degree vehicular manslaughter: New York Penal Law 125:13

Defenses
If you have the ability to challenge the validity of the test issued by the doctors, then you stand a high chance to defend yourself against the criminal offense. You also have an increased success rate for defense in this second-degree manslaughter. For instance, you must follow some specific procedures to ensure that the test had an accuracy of the chemical test.

Sentence
Because the second-degree vehicular manslaughter is a class D felony, you are likely to face a seven-year jail term in prison. While you get the driving privileges, they can be revoked or suspended after the prison sentence.

New York Penal Law § 125.12: second-degree vehicular manslaughter
A person is said to be guilty of the second-degree vehicular manslaughter when he or she causes death to someone, and either:
1. You operate a car in violations of subdivisions three, two, and four under the traffic and vehicle law.
2. You operate a vehicle with a weight rating of more than the one stated in the license containing explosives, radioactive materials, and flammable gas.
3. You operate a snowmobile in violation of the historical and recreation preservation law.

The NYC Criminal Attorneys Law Firm
If you are charged with the second-degree vehicular manslaughter charges, it is important that you seek experienced legal advice at your side. A legal representative has the experience to twist around the case and get you out. You can face a seven-year prison term if you are convicted of these charges. This lost time can never be recovered in prison. The staff at nyc criminal attorneys Law Firm has many years of experience in defending their clients at the New York criminal courts. Call our offices to schedule a free consultation session with an experienced legal representative.

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