Bowie and Crofton Vehicular Manslaughter Defense Lawyers
Fighting for the rights of clients charged with vehicular manslaughter throughout Maryland
The crime of vehicular manslaughter is defined as, “the crime of causing the death of a human being due to illegal driving of an automobile, including gross negligence, drunk driving, reckless driving or speeding.” (Law.com) Illegal driving might be that the driver was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, driving aggressively, or in the throes of road rage.
Vehicular manslaughter is a serious charge, and one that could have a lasting, negative impact on your life should you get convicted. Talk to a criminal defense lawyer from Carey Law Office today to learn about your legal options. We have offices in Bowie and Crofton.
Reckless actions which could lead to a charge of vehicular manslaughter
Speeding, which is exceeding the posted speed limit, or driving too fast for conditions can increase the risk of a traffic crash, make the accident damage and injuries worse, and increase the risk of fatalities. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 37,133 traffic fatalities in 2017, with 9,717 of those (26%) being crashes where at least one of the drivers involved was speeding.
Drunk driving is also careless, reckless driving that kills and causes catastrophic injuries to vehicle occupants, pedestrians, and bystanders. About 37% of speeding drivers who caused a traffic crash were alcohol-impaired, as compared to 16% or non-speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes. The NHTSA also found that there were 10,974 traffic fatalities involving drivers with BACs (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.08 g/dl or higher, which was about 29% of all traffic fatalities for the year.
Other forms of gross or negligent driving behavior which could result in a vehicular manslaughter charge includes:
- Drag racing
- Driving at night without headlights on
- Wrong way driving
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
With such a high number of people dying needlessly in traffic accidents, law makers wanted to put into place stricter penalties that might serve to deter and punish gross negligence and criminal negligence behind the wheel.
Vehicular manslaughter charges and penalties
The following are the two charges in the Maryland criminal code which address vehicular manslaughter and its penalties:
- Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel–Gross negligence § 2-209. The law defines a “vehicle” as a “motor vehicle, streetcar, locomotive, engine and train.” It is prohibited for one person to cause the death of another as a result of the person’s driving, operating or controlling a vehicle or vessel in a grossly negligent manner.
Penalties include up to 10 years in prison and/or $5,000 fine for a first offense.
- Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel — Criminal negligence § 2-210. Under the law, if you operate a “vehicle” in a criminally negligent manner and someone is killed, you can be charged. “Criminally negligent” is defined as:
1) the person should be aware, but fails to perceive, that the person’s conduct creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such a result will occur; and
(2) the failure to perceive constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person.
Penalties include up to 3 years in prison and/or $5,000 in fines for a first offense.
How can a Bowie vehicular manslaughter lawyer help you?
If you are facing vehicular manslaughter charges, Carey Law Office is here to represent you in court. We do not judge you, instead we offer sound legal strategies and guidance during a critical time which will have a significant impact on your future. You are welcome to come in for a consultation so that we can discuss your case and inform you of the options available to you. We have an office in Bowie and in Clifton where you can learn more about what we can do for you.
Schedule a consultation with an experienced Bowie criminal defense lawyer today
From our offices in Bowie and Crofton, our criminal defense lawyers serve clients in Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and throughout the state. If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter, we fight for your rights under the law. We are dedicated to offering a level of personal attention to you and your case that you will not find at a larger office. You may call 301-464-2500 or complete our contact form to speak with Carey Law Office today. We’ll get you through this.