Providing You the Defense You Need
Most people who drive a car will be involved in an auto accident at some point in their life. Accidents happen, and for the most part, car accidents involve dents and dings, but no serious injury. However, more serious accidents can leave others with serious injuries, including death. Even though it may have a minor mistake that ended in someone's death, a driver may be facing the crime of vehicular homicide. If you find yourself in this position, you need to seek help from a Gilbert criminal defense attorney.
Vehicular homicide in Arizona falls under one of three categories, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the accident. These include: negligent homicide; manslaughter; and second-degree murder. All these charges involve the death of another, which could be another driver, pedestrian, the defendant's own passengers, including an unborn child.
Negligent homicide occurs when the defendant's criminal negligence causes the death of another person. Negligence is a showing that the driver took an unjustified risk, which deviates from how a reasonable person would act in that situation. This is a class 4 felony with a possible penalty of more than three years in prison.
Vehicular manslaughter involves the defendant's recklessness, which causes the death of another person. This often involves an accident where the driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causing a deadly accident. This is a class 2 felony which carries the possible penalty of from seven years to more than 20 years in prison.
Vehicular murder is second-degree murder, which is the most serious vehicular homicide charge. This requires a showing of intentional conduct, or such extreme indifference to human life, which causes the death of another. This includes intentionally hitting someone with their car, knowing they could cause injury. This is a class 1 felony. This carries the possible penalties of from ten years to more than 20 years in prison.
Vehicular Homicide Defense
Having these charges reduced to a reckless driving charge can make the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge. Any possible defenses to a felony vehicular homicide charge will depend on the case. The prosecutor has to prove the elements of the crime, including causation. By challenging the prosecutor's evidence with counter-evidence to show that the defendant was not a cause of the car accident or subsequent death, the jury can find the defendant not guilty.
As a former police officer, I was involved in investigating numerous car accidents, including those involving someone's death. I understand how the investigations are conducted, what the police look for, and how they write their reports. I will work with experts in the field of accident reconstruction to demonstrate to the judge and jury that my client was not the cause of the accident, an essential element to a vehicular manslaughter conviction.
As a former prosecutor, I know what it takes to build a case. Now, as a criminal defense lawyer, I use that experience question the police officers to support your version of the events, and to show the weaknesses in the prosecutor's case. I understand how a vehicular homicide works from inside out, and use this to show the jury that my client is not at fault.
Free No Obligation Consultation
A vehicular homicide conviction will put your family, your finances, your freedom, and your life at risk. Don't take any chances when hiring a lawyer to fight for you. I am an experienced Gilbert criminal defense lawyer, with the skill, training, and background to keep you out of jail and keep your record clear.
Contact me to schedule a free initial consultation, so we can talk about your case and how to win. If you've been charged with vehicular homicide in Phoenix or the surrounding area, call me today, at 480-390-2537.