Unlawfully causing the death of another person is punishable by a lengthy prison term. After an arrest for manslaughter, call an attorney in Denver, CO, promptly. Your criminal defense attorney can help you learn how to protect your legal rights. He or she will advise you not to answer any questions about the incident until he or she arrives to represent you. If you haven’t been arrested yet, but suspect that an arrest is imminent, you should still call a felony attorney right away and avoid discussing the case with anyone else.
Understanding Vehicular Manslaughter
The terms manslaughter, homicide, and murder are often used interchangeably. For legal purposes, homicide occurs when one person kills another. Criminal homicide is murder, which occurs when a person intended to cause another person’s death. This may include premeditation, which is developing a plan to kill. Manslaughter is also a form of criminal homicide, but it doesn’t involve malice aforethought, which is the intent to kill. Under Colorado law, a person may be charged with the specific crime of vehicular homicide, also known as vehicular manslaughter. Felony attorneys handle cases of vehicular homicide that involve allegations of street racing, drunk driving, and distracted driving, such as texting while driving.
Facing the Legal Penalties
Vehicular homicide due to reckless driving is a grave offense that can lead to severe legal penalties upon conviction. This offense is a strict liability crime, which means that the prosecutor does not need to prove that the defendant had the intent to kill or was affected by a particular state of mind. The legal penalties for vehicular homicide depend on the exact circumstances. It is prosecuted as a class four felony in reckless driving cases, but can be upgraded to a class three felony if alcohol or drugs were involved. Offenders convicted of a class four felony in Colorado face a sentencing range of two to six years in prison. A judge who determines that aggravating circumstances were present may sentence the offender to up to 12 years in prison. Class three felony convictions are punishable by four to 12 years in prison, but with aggravating circumstances, the maximum sentence could be 24 years.