Being involved in a major traffic crash is a very traumatic experience. It can leave a person facing a lot of emotional challenges. This can particularly be the case if the accident resulted in a death. Having been in an auto crash that resulted in any deaths can also leave a person facing a very difficult legal situation if he or she is accused of having triggered the accident through dangerous conduct. Here in Tennessee, such allegations could lead to a person being charged with vehicular homicide.
Under state law, it is vehicular homicide when a person, when operating a vehicle, engages in conduct carrying a substantial risk of serious injury or death that results in the reckless killing of another person. The offense of vehicular homicide also covers reckless killings involving things like driving while intoxicated or drag racing.
Vehicular homicide is a very serious charge. This charge can carry large penalties should a person be convicted.
Most vehicular homicide offenses not involving intoxicating driving fall into the Class C felony category. The maximum prison sentence for this class is 15 years. The maximum fine is $10,000.
The penalty ranges are even more severe for vehicular homicide offenses involving intoxicated driving. Such offenses are generally Class B felonies. Class B felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years and a maximum fine of $25,000. And, if a person found to have committed intoxicated-driving-related vehicular homicide has certain prior offenses on his or her record, the offense rises to aggravated vehicular homicide. This is a Class A felony, which carries even heftier penalties.
A conviction on vehicular homicide charges can also cause a person to lose is or her license for a long time.
So, a great deal can be at stake for a person should vehicular homicide charges be leveled against him or her. In these high-stakes cases, how each of the various complex issues that come up in them are addressed could have major impacts on a person’s life. So, having compassionate and skilled legal help in one’s corner can be critical when facing such charges.