It is safe to assume that nearly everyone wants to avoid killing or harming others through their own conduct. Unfortunately, this is a risk when operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Those who take a life by violating DUI laws can face significant psychological hardships such as pervasive despair and regret. The psychological fallout of vehicular homicide makes facing the penalties for your actions even harder.
What is vehicular homicide?
It is a legal term to describe a fatal accident caused by a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher who did not intend to harm anyone through their actions. However, they remain legally responsible for the death.
Although vehicular homicide is not as severe as murder or homicide, a conviction will lead to life-altering penalties. As a Class B felony under Tennessee law, those convicted could face 8 to 30 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
What about vehicular assault?
A drunk driving accident that leaves victims alive but with serious bodily injuries is a Class D felony in Tennessee. If convicted, defendants face imprisonment for 2 to 12 years, loss of driving privileges and fines approaching $5,000.
Those with prior alcohol-related convictions typically receive the maximum allowable penalties. For example, vehicular assault charges are often upgraded to aggravated for defendants previously convicted on DUI-related charges.
It is only natural to feel regretful over mistakes that harm others, but you retain the right to defend yourself when you’re facing serious criminal charges. Getting experienced legal guidance can help you protect your rights and make your case.