You probably never image your involvement in white-collar crime such as identity theft, embezzlement or cyberstalking.
However, vehicular manslaughter also falls into this category. Given the right set of circumstances, anyone who drives could face arrest for this kind of crime—even you.
Vehicular manslaughter explained
In the state of Georgia, vehicular manslaughter, also called vehicular homicide, is the act of unlawfully and unintentionally causing the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle. You can face conviction for first-degree vehicular homicide for a variety of reasons:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failing to stop after a collision
- Engaging in reckless driving
- Fleeing from law enforcement officers
- Unlawfully passing a school bus
You could face a second-degree vehicular homicide conviction if you cause another’s death while committing any other kind of traffic violation.
A look at Georgia penalties
“Homicide by vehicle” is the term often heard in a Georgia courtroom, but the meaning is the same as vehicular manslaughter. There are two categories for penalties:
- First-degree homicide by vehicle is a felony that can result in prison time of three to 15 years for a first offense, with no parole available until after the prisoner serves the first year.
- Second-degree homicide by vehicle is a misdemeanor that can result in a fine of up to $1,000, jail time of up to one year, or both.
Proving the case
If law enforcement arrests you on a charge of vehicular manslaughter, the prosecution must make the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt; that is to say, that you caused the death of another person because you were driving under the influence or that your manner of driving was such that you caused a fatality.
If charged with vehicular manslaughter, explore your legal options promptly. Do not speak with officers or detectives until you consult with an attorney who will see that your rights are protected. You can expect a thorough investigation to proceed on your behalf in pursuit of the best outcome possible for your case.