Vehicular Manslaughterin Pennsylvania
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a motorist may be charged with “vehicular manslaughter” or “homicide-by-vehicle” for:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Recklessly committing a traffic infraction
- A DUI or traffic violation that causes the death of another person
Pursuant to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 75 Section 3732:
“Any person who recklessly or with gross negligence causes the death of another person while engaged in the violation of any law of this Commonwealth or municipal ordinance applying to the operation or use of a vehicle or to the regulation of traffic is guilty of homicide by vehicle.”
Proving Vehicular Manslaughter
Before a driver can be convicted of homicide by vehicle, causation must be shown. This requires the prosecutor to prove that the traffic violation or DUI offense was a “direct and substantial factor in the victim’s death.” In essence, there should be a link between the traffic violation or DUI offense and the death.
Penalties for Vehicular Homicide
The potential consequences of a Pennsylvania vehicular manslaughter conviction usually depend upon the circumstances surrounding the incident. Possible penalties may include:
- Traffic Violation-Related Offense: Vehicular manslaughter based on a traffic infraction is a third-degree felony. Punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- DUI-Related Offense: A DUI-related vehicular manslaughter conviction is a second-degree felony. Punishable by three to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
Work With a Skilled Defense Attorney
Trying to defend yourself in your vehicular homicide allegations could increase your risk of being convicted and receiving the maximum punishment. If convicted, you could face lengthy prison sentences, huge fines, and other social ramifications. Therefore, when facing vehicular manslaughter charges, retaining a highly-skilled and aggressive Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney is crucial to protect your rights and determine your best defense strategy.
At Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C., I have devoted my career to providing outstanding legal services, including handling vehicular manslaughter cases. As your legal counsel, I will investigate the facts of your case, help you understand your available legal defenses, and outline an effective defense strategy for your unique situation.
Using my extensive knowledge, I will help you navigate the Pennsylvania criminal justice system and offer you the reliable representation you need in your case. Having me on your side can help increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Reach out to my firm today to get the help you need.