22nd Mar 2016
Even if a fatal accident was completely unintentional, the responsible party can face serious consequences if charged with and convicted of vehicular homicide. A criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can be a tremendous resource to someone accused of this serious crime. In order to provide the best defense, a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale will ask the defendant questions about the accident and the circumstances leading up to it. He or she will also explain the charge and possible defenses.
Elements of the Crime
In order to be convicted of vehicular homicide, the prosecution must show that the defendant caused the death of a person or fetus due to the defendant’s reckless driving. The prosecution does not have to prove that the defendant intended to hurt anyone as this is not an element of the crime.
Punishment for Vehicular Homicide
Vehicular homicide is considered a sub sect of manslaughter. The prosecutor can charge vehicular homicide as a first degree or second degree felony. In the second degree, the offense can result in a maximum criminal sentence of 15 years and a fine up to $10,000. In the first degree, it can result in a maximum criminal sentence of 30 years and a fine up to $10,000. The offense is commonly charged in the first degree when the defendant fails to give information to a police officer or to render aid to the injured individual.
Protections for Criminal Defendants
Defendants can hire a private attorney to help protect their rights. A criminal defense attorney can be present during any interrogations or recommend that the defendant not communicate with police. He or she can also help investigate the underlining cause of the accident in order to negate the culpability of the defendant.