We Know: All About Vehicular Manslaughter

What is Vehicular Manslaughter?

Vehicular Manslaughter is applies when someone is killed in a vehicle accident through gross negligence, drunk driving, reckless driving or speeding. Whether or not vehicular manslaughter is chargeable as a misdemeanor or felony depends upon the circumstances surrounding the accident, and the mindset of the driver. Minor speeding violations  that result in death, may be charged as a misdemeanor. Felonies include gross negligence and fatalities related to drunk driving.

Is Vehicular Manslaughter the Same as Murder?

Manslaughter is killing of a person without premeditation. It's not considered murder because there is a lack of any prior intention to kill, or deliberately create a dangerous situation. Voluntary manslaughter includes killing in the heat of passion, or while committing a felony. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a death is caused by a non-felony violation, such as reckless driving or speeding, depending upon road conditions. For example, if the driver drives too fast, ignores road conditions and drives off the road killing a passenger, he can be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

What is Gross Negligence?

Gross Negligence is defined as carelessness or reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, and a conscious disregard of other people's safety. Driving 50 miles an hour in a crowded shopping mall lot is an example. Drunk driving that results in a fatality is another.

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving involves the dangerous driving of a car while ignoring conditions without regard for consequences. This crime can include speeding or driving too fast for road conditions while still within posted speed limits, driving after drinking, but not at a level considered legally drunk, having too many passengers in the car, erratic lane changes, cutting in and out of traffic, and failing to yield to other vehicles because of road rage.

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