Philadelphia Vehicular Homicide Lawyer
Vehicular homicide, which is also called “vehicular manslaughter” or “homicide by vehicle,” is an offense that occurs when a driver’s actions behind the wheel cause the death of another person. Vehicular homicide usually happens because a motorist was recklessly operating their car, or because a motorist was under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving. The penalties for vehicular manslaughter in Pennsylvania vary, depending on the circumstances of each case. If you or a family member was arrested for vehicular homicide, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia vehicular manslaughter lawyer today.
At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, we are dedicated to providing you with legal representation that is tailored to meet your unique needs. Defense lawyer Lloyd Long has invaluable experience dealing with criminal cases as a former prosecutor, and he will use that experience to fight tirelessly for you. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, call the Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online. Our offices are available for calls 24 hours a day.
Pennsylvania Vehicular Manslaughter Laws
Pennsylvania’s vehicular homicide law prohibits a person from recklessly or negligently causing the death of another person while driving. Pennsylvania defines recklessness as acting in a manner that does not acknowledge the “substantial and unjustifiable risks” that may come from your actions. For example, driving over 100 miles per hour in inclement weather may qualify as recklessness.
To be charged with homicide by vehicle after a crash, you must also simultaneously violate another Pennsylvania law or a municipal ordinance that pertains to the operation of a car. For example, if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and strike and kill another person, this could result in being charged with vehicular homicide. This means that you should understand the requirements for being arrested for DUI in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, you can be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, or if you are impaired while driving – even with a BAC below 0.08%. Your BAC reading can also determine whether you risk receiving enhanced penalties.
DUI is just one traffic offense that can be considered in a vehicular homicide case. To prove a vehicular homicide case, the prosecution must show that the DUI or other traffic offense committed was a “direct and substantial factor” that contributed to the victim’s death. Therefore, there must be a direct link between your traffic offense and the person’s death before you can be convicted. To learn more about vehicular homicide laws in Pennsylvania, you should speak with an experienced defense lawyer today.
Penalties for Homicide by Vehicle
Homicide by vehicle is a serious crime, and a convicted offender can spend several years in prison – even for a first-time offense. The severity of the penalties for a homicide by vehicle offense depends on the circumstances of each case. For example, if you are charged with vehicular homicide stemming from a traffic violation, you will be charged with a third degree felony.
Third degree felonies are the least severe type of felony. However, third degree felonies still carry serious penalties. If you are convicted of a third degree felony, you may be sentenced to serve up to seven years in prison and owe $15,000 in criminal fines.
If you are charged with homicide by vehicle that was caused when you drove under the influence, you will be charged with a second degree felony. A second degree felony is the second most severe type of felony. In Pennsylvania, a second degree felony carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum of $25,000 in fines. Additionally, if you commit homicide by vehicle in an area designated as an active work zone, an extra five years can be added to your sentence. An individual that commits vehicular homicide will also have their license suspended for up to three years.
Philadelphia Vehicular Homicide Lawyer Handling Misdemeanor and Felony Charges
With the possibility of facing severe criminal penalties, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia vehicular homicide defense attorney today. Criminal attorney Lloyd Long can help you weigh all of your options if you are charged with vehicular manslaughter. There are a few options that may be available to you that may help you reduce the severity of your offense, and Lloyd Long is here to explain those options to you.
Lloyd Long understands the stress and fear associated with going through Philadelphia’s criminal process, and he is here to fight for you. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long is prepared to provide you with reliable legal representation that you can depend on to protect your rights as a defendant. To schedule a free legal consultation, call us at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online today.