Vehicular Homicide Explained

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense that can have devastating consequences on the part of the driver. When it leads to the death of another person, the defendant could be charged with vehicular homicide. A Nashville criminal attorney Brent Horst will tell you that if a BAC that exceeds the limit of 0.08 and a fatal accident happens, that driver can be charged with vehicular homicide.

In order for a vehicular homicide case to be successful, the prosecutor must prove the following:

1. That the driver acted negligently while operating a motor vehicle causing the death of another person. If negligence was proven, the defendant may face an imprisonment of up to six months and the mandatory license suspension of 1 to 5 years.

2. That the death was the proximate result of committing a speeding offense in a construction zone. If proven, vehicle homicide is elevated into first degree misdemeanor and the driver can be subjected to a potential sentence of up to six months and a mandatory license suspension of 1 to 5 years.

3. Vehicular homicide becomes a fourth degree felony if any of the following conditions apply: 1) driving with no license or suspended license; 2) prior conviction of vehicular homicide or any traffic-related homicide, manslaughter, or assault offense. The driver could be subjected to 18 months in prison. The license suspension is elevated to 2 to 10 years in this situation.

4. If the driver has been previously convicted of a traffic-related murder, felonious assault, or attempted murder, the licenses will be suspended for three years to life.

In order to prove negligence on the part of the driver, the prosecutor must show that the driver understood but disregarded the fact that their driving presented a potential threat to others. Proving simple negligence will not suffice. The sentence for vehicular homicide will depend on how the offense is committed.


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