A Seattle woman is facing charges after events this past Monday. A Seattle Times report writes that a woman was driving in SeaTac when she hit two men. Reports say she hit the both of them and ended up dragging the both of them, and possibly running over one of the two men. Both men were taken to a nearby medical center following the accident. Unfortunately one of them men hit did not survive his injuries. Police reports say the driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.05% but she allegedly "reeked of intoxicants" and had "bloodshot and watery" eyes. She had also admitted to taking prescription medications that night as well. The woman is now being charged with vehicular homicide following the events.
Washington's vehicular homicide is defined in RCW 46.61.522. The crime itself is defined as "when the death of any person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury proximately caused by the driving of any vehicle by any person" under one or more of these circumstances:
- While the driver was under the influence of any "intoxicating liquor or any drug"
- While the driver operated the vehicle in a manner defined as "reckless"
- While the driver operated the vehicle without regard for the safety of others
Vehicular homicide is a very serious crime. It is a class A felony. Punishable with sentencing of up life in prison, fines up to $50,000 or both. There is no lower class of felony punishment for this charge, and likewise there is no misdemeanor reduction of charges either.
This is a very severe charge, however, given the nature of the situation, the prosecutor had cause to go after her for it. Without a skilled attorney, she may face incredibly severe sentencing. Vehicular homicide can land someone with life imprisonment on just a first offense, if the judge or jury deems it necessary. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help with negotiating with judges and prosecutors for lesser charges. When facing something as severe as a class A felony charge, an attorney can aid with the plea bargaining process to mitigate any long sentences for prison or jail time. Possible alternative charges to negotiate would include changing the sentencing to a felony DUI, or other less severe offense. An attorney can work together with the prosecutor for the best possible solution for the events that transpired. This woman clearly did not intend on hitting and ending the life of someone when she got on the road that evening, but she will nonetheless pay for it with a severe sentence if she does not find proper representation.
If you or a loved one are facing vehicular homicide, DUI or other charges, your best chance at fighting or reducing those charges is having a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney at your side to help you through it. Contact the law offices of Steve Karimi today.