Vehicular Homicide in Washington
Everyone knows that a DUI conviction can lead to steep penalties. Charges can be even more serious, however, when an accident is involved. The most serious offenses involve injury or death to another person. According to Washington law, this is referred to as vehicular homicide. In 2009, the US census reported that there were 482 deaths that resulted from fatal traffic accidents in the state. Lawmakers want to reduce these numbers and look to punish drivers who cause accidents due to carelessness. Drivers who are accused of causing a fatal accident due to drug or alcohol intoxication may be charged with vehicular homicide.
A vehicular homicide conviction can lead to steep consequences such as jail time, fines licenses suspension and more. If you have been charged with DUI and death in Washington, call our office right away. Attorney Steve Karimi is an experienced defense lawyer who will fight hard for you.
Washington DUI Fatality Laws
According to Washington law, RCW 46.61.520, a person can be charged with vehicular homicide if a death occurs due to injuries sustained in an auto accident that they caused under specific conditions. These conditions include the following:
- The driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs under RCW 46.61.502
- The driver operated the vehicle in a reckless manner
- The driver operated the vehicle with a disregard for the safety of others
The definition of this law is vague and many actions could be interpreted as reckless driving or disregard for safety. Even allegations that the driver was under the influence could be inaccurate. Additionally, under this law, a driver who causes an accident can be charged with vehicular homicide if the victim passes away due to their injuries within three years of the accident. This means that even several years after an accident, a driver who causes an accident could still be charged with a crime if a victim succumbs to their injuries.
DUI Fatality Penalties in Seattle
There are a number of penalties that can result from a vehicular homicide conviction. Under Washington law, vehicular homicide is considered a Class A felony. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the average sentence for a DUI accident leading to death in Washington is 31 to 177 months. This is one of the steepest sentences in the Country. In fact, the maximum penalties for this crime include the following:
- Life in prison
- A fine of $50,000
- Installation of ignition interlocks
In addition to these penalties, the defendant can also expect to have their driver's license suspended for a period to be determined by the court upon conviction. If alcohol or drugs are involved, the driver may face other charges for DUI and more penalties such as mandatory substance abuse treatment and more.
Fighting Washington Vehicular Homicide Charges
Vehicular homicide is a felony charge that carries some of the steepest sentencing possible. That is why anyone facing charges for this crime should contact a defense attorney as soon as possible in order to make sure that they have their best chance of successfully fighting their charges. Attorney Steven Karimi works hard to build strong defenses for his clients. In a vehicular homicide case, some defense options may include the following:
- Driver was not driving recklessly or endangering the safety of others and the collision was just an accident
- The driver was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the sobriety test results are flawed
- The driver was not responsible for the collision
- The injuries that lead to the death of the victim were not a result of the collision
These are just examples of defense techniques used in vehicular homicide cases. When you call The Law Offices of Steve Karimi, we will listen to your case and perform out own investigation. This information will then be used to build a strong defense for you. The sooner you call our office, the sooner we can get to work building your defense, so do not hesitate to call.
Washington DUI Fatality Defense Lawyer
If you are facing charges for a DUI that results in the loss of life, call our office to find out more about the penalties that you may be subjected to. It is vital that you take action right away to protect your license and your future. A felony charge can be a scary experience, let us help you through the process.
Attorney Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor that will fight hard for you. He will meet with you for a free consultation and explain everything that you need to know about your case, including what defense options you have and what your expectations for the case should be. Attorney Karimi is highly experienced and will help you get the results that you want. Call now to set up a free consultation.