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

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.

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