If you are arrested for DUI and there was a fatality, you must contact an experienced attorney IMMEDIATELY. Whether you were directly responsible or not, the charges against you are serious, and only a skilled lawyer can begin the in-depth legal preparation necessary to guide you through the legal process to an eventual acquittal. Without the help of a criminal defense attorney, you could lose everything — including your career and freedom. The sooner you consult with a reputable Fairfax DUI defense lawyer, like Eric Clingan, the sooner you can fight the charges and hopefully resume your life.
Some of the possible charges you may face for a DUI fatality are:
- DUI Involuntary manslaughter — According to § 18.2-36.1, to be found guilty of DUI involuntary manslaughter in the State of Virginia, the prosecution must prove that you drove while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and as a result of your intoxication, you unintentionally caused the death of another person.
- Aggravated Involuntary manslaughter — In the event that “…the conduct of the defendant was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life…” the charge is elevated to aggravated involuntary manslaughter, a felony offense.
- Vehicular manslaughter — If you killed a person with your car, but the prosecution is unable to prove that you were under the influence, you may still be charged with vehicular manslaughter, a class 5 felony.
The above charges are in addition to the penalties you face for DUI.
What are the penalties for a DUI-related death in Virginia?
Every DUI case is different. The penalties you face for a DUI where a person dies depends on the circumstances of your case. If you were 3 times over the legal limit, have multiple DUI convictions, and drove into oncoming traffic, expect to be charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter. This felony offense is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, with a 1-year mandatory sentence. For vehicular manslaughter you face up to 10 years in prison. Certain factors, such as “suspended” sentences, credits for good in-custody behavior and jail-alternative work programs can reduce the sentence you face.
Aggressive DUI attorney fights to protect your rights and freedom
The Nova Law Firm provides experienced defense counsel to Virginia motorists who are charged with DUI related involuntary manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, and other serious offenses. Call (703) 352-9347 or contact us online to discuss your case with an experienced lawyer.