Vehicular manslaughter, also called vehicular homicide, is the killing of a person caused by another person’s reckless driving. According to Florida Statute §782.071, reckless driving is defined as “driving any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”
This can mean a number of things, including:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI)
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving while distracted (such as texting while driving)
- Excessive speeding or racing
- Failing to yield to other motorists or pedestrians
- Failing to stop at stop signs or traffic lights
Intent is not a factor when it comes to vehicular manslaughter; if a person is killed because they were struck by a driver that was driving unsafely, the driver can be held legally responsible and face criminal charges.
How Long Can You Go to Jail for Vehicular Manslaughter?
In Florida, vehicular manslaughter is usually charged as a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. However, vehicular manslaughter may be charged as a first-degree felony if the defendant knew or should have known that the accident occurred and either failed to render aid to the injured person or failed to give information to the police. A first-degree felony conviction for vehicular manslaughter is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Begin Fighting Your Charges Today
With such serious penalties at stake, it is crucial to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible to begin building your defense. The West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at Perlet, Shiner, McKamey, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. have decades of combined experience providing accused individuals with aggressive and strategic representation. Our team is prepared to investigate all aspects of your case to determine which defenses may be available to you. Call us today to learn more about how we may be able to help.
Tell us about your case during a free and confidential consultation: (561) 349-4856.