Also commonly referred to as vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide typically occurs because a driver has been criminally negligent or is actively engaged in the commission of a different crime. Most of these cases are involuntary and are not premeditated. Whatever the case may be, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable Indianapolis vehicular manslaughter attorney.
Finding out that you are on the hook for vehicular homicide can be devastating. You may feel as if nobody understands your situation or how the accident really happened. It can be a very isolating feeling that can have heavy and long-term emotional effects on the accused individual. Remember that being charged is not being convicted of a crime and Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer Chris Eskew is here to help.
Causes of Vehicular Manslaughter
Most true vehicular homicide cases are related to DUI. An intoxicated individual may get behind the wheel of a car and either strike a pedestrian or cause a fatal accident. Other causes of vehicular homicide may be the subject of an investigation. If, for instance, you are driving away from law enforcement and you hit and kill someone, it may be considered vehicular homicide. Driving recklessly while texting or distracted could also lead to a charge of vehicular homicide.
Regardless of the act that caused the homicide, all involuntary homicides are considered felonies in the state of Indiana. As Level 5 felonies, homicide convictions may have consequences of up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Anyone convicted will lose his or her right to drive for two to five years.
Pedestrians, other drivers, cyclists, and passengers in the offending vehicle may all be considered victims in vehicular homicide cases. The only vehicles that may not be considered a “motor vehicle” for the purposes of vehicular homicide include tractors, snowmobiles, and non-motorized transportation.
Further Complications in Vehicular Manslaughter Cases
In addition to criminal charges, an individual charged with homicide may also face a lawsuit in civil court. Family members may decide to bring a wrongful death claim against an individual in hopes of securing financial compensation to cover their loss and to inflict further punishment against the perpetrator. These consequences may seem overwhelming, but there are ways a seasoned Indianapolis vehicular manslaughter attorney can fight the charges against you in criminal and civil court.
Rarely, a passenger or non-vehicle driver may be considered the defendant in a vehicular homicide case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding an accident, a passenger who created unsafe driving conditions and caused an accident may be the responsible party, as could a pedestrian who fails to use reasonable safety when crossing the road.
Fighting a Vehicular Manslaughter Case
If you are being investigated for or charged with vehicular homicide, you will need legal representation. During the investigation, prosecutors will be building a case against you and using any statements you have made and any evidence found to bolster their case. At Eskew Law LLC, our Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers have experience with a diverse range of vehicular manslaughter incidents.
As soon as you contact us for a case evaluation, we can start assessing strategies to refute the prosecution’s findings, protect your rights, and get to the bottom of what really happened. You cannot afford to fight a serious charge on your own. Doing so may leave you with a criminal history that could make securing a future job or getting involved in a community difficult.
Possible defenses may include uncovering the true nature of contributing factors to the accident and clearly investigating the other party’s (even the victim’s) role in the accident. You may not be fully responsible for what happened.
In some cases, we may be able to have the charges dropped, reduce the charges, or negotiate a plea deal instead of going to court. If we do go to court, our team of Indianapolis vehicular manslaughter lawyers has an exceptional reputation for defending clients at trial. To learn why our clients prefer our approach to defense, contact us today.