If you caused a traffic accident due to reckless driving, and the accident resulted in someone's death (which can include a viable fetus), you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This is a serious criminal offense, one that comes with severe penalties depending on the circumstances.
If you've been arrested, the first thing you should do is contact a Florida traffic lawyer who has experience in defending clients against this charge. Refrain from making a statement to law enforcement officers until you've consulted with your attorney.
Vehicular Manslaughter: Felony Or Misdemeanor?
Vehicular manslaughter, often called vehicular homicide, is a second-degree felony. This is the case even if someone dies as the result of traffic infractions that might otherwise be considered minor.
If you're convicted of this crime, you may be sentenced to up to 15 years in Florida State Prison and forced to pay up to $10,000 in fines.
That said, depending on the circumstances, the penalties can be even worse. If your reckless driving results in someone's death, and you willfully leave the scene of the accident, you may be charged with a first-degree felony. You could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.
If you cause a deadly traffic accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the offense is treated as a second-degree felony. However, in addition to fines and prison time, your driver's license may be permanently revoked.
How An Orlando Traffic Attorney Can Help You
It's important to get a seasoned Orange County traffic lawyer involved as soon as possible following the incident. Your lawyer will ensure your rights are protected, and create a defense strategy that will give you the best possible chance of maintaining your freedom.
A conviction for vehicular manslaughter can have a major impact on the rest of your life. Don't take unnecessary chances. Hire an experienced attorney who can properly scrutinize the relevant evidence, follow up with witnesses, and aggressively defend your rights.
The criminal and traffic legal defense team at Skubiak & Rivas have more than 60 years of combined experience protecting clients against serious charges. If you've been arrested for vehicular manslaughter, let us investigate your case. Call us at 407-894-4449 or fill out this short online form for a private, free consultation.