Gillette Vehicular Homicide Lawyers
Wyoming, along with most other states, has declared a motor vehicle to be a deadly weapon. If you cause the death of another person by driving in a criminally negligent manner, you can be charged with “homicide by vehicle” under Wyoming law. It is an even more serious offense than vehicular assault, which involves seriously injuring another person while operating a motor vehicle. If you are facing vehicular homicide charges, your best chance of obtaining the most favorable outcome is to hire an experienced Gillette homicide attorney to defend you.
Under state law, a person who operates a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner and thereby causes the death of another person is guilty of homicide by vehicle. Penalties upon conviction may include a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,000, or both. The charge is aggravated homicide by vehicle if the person was operating the vehicle in a reckless manner or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Aggravated homicide by vehicle is a felony offense, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
- Reckless driving is defined as driving with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or property. “Willful” means intentional or purposeful. “Wanton” means the person knew but disregarded the consequences of his or her actions.
- Criminal negligence is acting negligently by doing something that poses a substantial and unjustifiable risk to others. The actions of a driver who operates a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner fall below the standard of care a reasonable person would use under similar circumstances.
If the charge is homicide by vehicle, the prosecution will attempt to prove that you were criminally negligent by unknowingly doing something that was a substantial deviation from the level of care every driver has a duty to others to exercise. To convict you of homicide by vehicle, the prosecution must also prove causation – that your actions caused the other person’s death.
With a charge of aggravated homicide by vehicle, the prosecution will attempt to show that you are guilty of reckless driving. This requires proof that you were aware of but disregarded the risks associated with your actions. The prosecution will also need to show a direct link between your driving and the death of the other person. If aggravated homicide by vehicle involves driving under the influence, the prosecution must prove that you had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher, or that you were impaired by alcohol or drugs to the extent that you were incapable of safely operating the vehicle.
Defenses our Gillette vehicular homicide attorneys can raise in your case will depend on the circumstances and the evidence against you. One common defense is causal connection. The prosecution must prove that your conduct at the time of the accident caused the victim’s death. If the charge is aggravated homicide by vehicle based on allegations that you were driving under the influence, we may be able to assert that your chemical test results were inaccurate or that field sobriety tests were improperly administered.
Our Gillette violent crime defense lawyers at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. have a successful track record defending clients against vehicular homicide and other serious criminal charges. We have the skills, experience, and work ethic to battle out every aspect of your case with the prosecution. Contact us at (307) 257-7800 for dedicated criminal defense against vehicular homicide charges.
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