Introduction 

Vehicular Manslaughter and Vehicular Assault are the most serious criminal charges that can result from a tragic traffic accident. As you can see below the penalties for these charges can be severe.

Serious Charges

We don’t mean to scare you, but being charged with a vehicular homicide or assault charge is an extremely serious matter that can affect every part of your life. You could go to prison for years, lose your job, and have massive financial bills and restitution as a result of the accident. Quite simply, these charges can be life-altering.

We know that if you have been in an accident you may be injured and certainly were shaken-up. The person injured may be a friend or family member. If someone died, friend or stranger, you are likely to feel the weight of that tragedy. But as discussed below, you should not put off dealing with this situation.

Time is of the Essence

If you have been involved in an accident and someone died or was injured, and you were driving, you should contact a lawyer immediately. This is true whether you have been charged with anything or not. Often there is a delay between an accident and the filing of charges.

You can be charged with these offenses even if there is no allegation of OVI. If there is an allegation of OVI or you have been charged with OVI and someone died or was injured, there is very little chance you will not be charged.  Do not delay!

If you have been charged with vehicular homicide or assault, it is crucial that you contact a knowledgeable, experienced attorney immediately to help navigate you through these charges.

Our office has helped many people who have found themselves being investigated for, or charged with Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Manslaughter and Vehicular assault.

In most situations quick actions can help you. We like to visit the scene as soon as possible. Often this will be with an accident investigator.

At the end of the day, when the case is set for a trial or a motion hearing, we want to know the case better than the prosecutor – a lot better.

To review a couple cases where quick action and knowing the case very well helped our client significantly see Clients We Have Helped 

Nature of the Charges

These very serious charges may result if you were driving and caused an accident which resulted in death or serious harm to any person, including your passengers. These charges are usually felonies and carry with them the potential for prison – often mandatory prison sentences. They also carry hefty fines and life-altering consequences.

The exact type of charges and penalties you might face depend on the nature of the driving that caused the accident, whether you were under the influence of anything at the time of the accident, and whether you had a suspended license at the time of the accident.

See the penalty charts below for more information about the types of vehicular homicide and assault and their potential consequences.

Timeline of Charges

Again, do not wait to deal with this. Based on our experience we know you may not be charged with this serious offense right away at the time of the accident. What typically happens is that you are charged with some less-serious traffic offense out of the accident immediately and are given a ticket or summons to that offense.

 Just because you are not immediately charged with a serious felony offense does not mean you won’t be charged later.

 

This is because it takes time to investigate and charge serious felony charges. Usually, the police investigate the accident and recommend charges to the prosecutor. If the potential charge is a felony (as most of these are), there is an additional wait for the prosecutor to present the case to a grand jury, who makes the final determination whether to charge you. While this process can take weeks to months, it is important to get an attorney involved immediately, even before charges are filed, before crucial evidence is lost.

How to get the Best Results

With the life-altering nature of these charges, getting an extremely skilled attorney who has successfully defended numerous other serious accident cases is critical.

Due to the complexity of these cases, you need an attorney who has devoted his practice to successfully dealing with these cases. Our founder and lead trial attorney, Tim Huey has spent decades in his practice focusing on defending cases involving serious accidents.

Click here for some samples of cases where Mr. Huey has helped in these circumstances.

In most cases involving injury or death the prosecutor is going to be committed to pursuing the case due to the serious nature of the accident, and will likely push hard for serious penalties.

In many of these cases, experts in accident reconstruction or OVI-related experts will be needed in order to review the accident report and assist in your defense. See below.

It is crucial to get a lawyer that has experience understanding the complex nature of these accidents and who is familiar with experts who can assist in your defense. 

Accident Investigators and Other Experts

One of the most important things an attorney who routinely has success in in defending a vehicular homicide or assault cases knows is who the experts are that you may need and how to contact them quickly. We often have our investigators at the scene within days.

In addition to accident investigators, there are a number of other experts we may consult with.

Statewide Expertise and Local Counsel

Often those in your situation wonder if they should just call a local lawyer. While it is often a good idea to have a lawyer familiar with the local court and personnel, in these cases you need someone who is highly trained and experienced to be a part of, and to direct, your defense. Tim Huey is one of the few lawyers statewide with the proper knowledge, experience, and understanding to defend these complex and serious cases.

In most vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter and vehicular assault cases our firm will work with a local lawyer who is very familiar with the local judges and personnel. Because Mr. Huey has been very involved with the defense bar on a statewide and national basis, we will often have an attorney we know well who we can contact to serve as local co-counsel.

Contact our office now for more information about what we can do for you

Confidential Consultation

Do not hesitate to contact us to set up a confidential consultation. Call us at 614-487-8667 or Schedule a Free Case Review!.

Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Manslaughter Penalty Charts

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide by means of OVI
Degree of Offense: Second-Degree Felony (F2)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another as a result of committing an OVI
Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 2 to 8 years
License Suspension: Lifetime license suspension
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide by means of OVI
Degree of Offense: First-Degree Felony (F1)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another while committing an OVI AND one of the following applies:

1.      driving under either a suspended license or no license at the time of the offense or

2.      having a prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 3 to 11 years
License Suspension: Lifetime license suspension

 

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide by means of OVI
Degree of Offense: Frist Degree Felony with Increased Penalties (F1+)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another while committing an OVI

AND having either of the following prior convictions:

Three or more convictions within the past ten years of any combination of

1.      OVI, vehicular homicide by OVI, or vehicular assault by OVI or

2.      two or more felony OVI convictions in your lifetime

Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 10 to 15 years
License Suspension: Lifetime license suspension

Click here to see additional charges under aggravated vehicular homicide by means of OVI with aggravating circumstances.


Aggravated Vehicular Homicide by Recklessness
Degree of Offense: Third-Degree Felony (F3)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another as a result of driving recklessly or committing a reckless operation offense in a construction zone
Punishment: Prison term of 1 to 5 years, probation-eligible at judge’s discretion
License Suspension: License suspension of 3 years to life. Note: mandatory lifetime suspension if you have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, or felonious assault committed by using the vehicle as a weapon.
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide by Recklessness
Degree of Offense: Second-Degree Felony (F2)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another as a result of driving recklessly or committing a reckless operation offense in a construction zone AND one of the following applies:

1.      driving under either a suspended license or no license at the time of the offense or

2.      Having a prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 2 to 8 years
License Suspension: License suspension of 3 years to life Note: mandatory lifetime suspension if you have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, or felonious assault committed by using the vehicle as a weapon.

Click here to see additional charges under aggravated vehicular homicide by recklessness with aggravating circumstances.


Vehicular Homicide by Negligence
Degree of Offense: First-Degree Misdemeanor (M1)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another as a result of driving negligently
Punishment: Jail term of up to 180 days. Probation-eligible at judge’s discretion
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years. 3 years to lifetime suspension if you have a previous conviction for use of a vehicle as a weapon.
Vehicular Homicide by Negligence
Degree of Offense: Fourth-Degree Felony (F4)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another as a result of driving negligently AND one of the following:

1.      driving under either a suspended license or no license at the time of the offense or

2.      having a prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 6 months to 18 months
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years; suspension is 2 to 10 years if you have a prior.

Note: three years to lifetime suspension if you have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, or felonious assault committed by using the vehicle as a weapon.

Click here to see additional charges under vehicular homicide by negligence with aggravating circumstances.


Vehicular Homicide by Speeding in Construction Zone
Degree of Offense: First-Degree Misdemeanor (M1)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of a person who is located in a construction zone as a result of a speeding offense
Punishment: Mandatory jail term of 15 days to a maximum of 180 days
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years. Note: three years to lifetime suspension if you have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, or felonious assault committed by using the vehicle as a weapon.
Vehicular Homicide by Speeding in Construction Zone
Degree of Offense: Fourth-Degree Felony (F4)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of a person who is located in a construction zone as a result of a speeding offense AND one of the following:

1.      driving under either a suspended license or no license at the time of the offense or

2.      having a prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 6 months to 18 months
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years; suspension is 2 to 10 years if you have a prior.

Note: three years to lifetime suspension if you have been convicted of murder, attempted murder, or felonious assault committed by using the vehicle as a weapon.

Click here to see additional charges under vehicular homicide by speeding in construction zone with aggravating circumstances.


Vehicular Manslaughter
Degree of Offense: Second-degree misdemeanor (M2)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another person as a result of committing any minor traffic violation
Punishment: Jail term of up to 90 days. Probation-eligible at judge’s discretion
License Suspension: License suspension of 3 months to 2 years. Note: 1 to 5 years if any prior vehicular homicide or assault, or any prior conviction of murder, attempted murder, or felonious assault committed by using the vehicle as a weapon.
Vehicular Manslaughter
Degree of Offense: First-degree misdemeanor (M1)
Elements of Offense: Causing the death of another person as a result of committing any minor traffic violation AND one of the following:

1.      driving under either a suspended license or no license at the time of the offense or

2.      having a prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

Punishment: Jail term of up to 180 days. Probation-eligible at judge’s discretion
License Suspension: License suspension of 3 months to 2 years. Note: 1 to 5 years if any prior vehicular homicide or assault, or any prior conviction of murder, attempted murder, or felonious assault committed by using the vehicle as a weapon.

Click here to see additional charges under vehicular manslaughter with aggravating circumstances.

Vehicular Assault Penalty Charts

Aggravated Vehicular Assault by OVI
Degree of Offense: Third-Degree Felony (F3)
Elements of Offense: Causing serious harm to another by means of committing an OVI
Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 1 to 5 years
License Suspension: License suspension of 2 to 10 years
Aggravated Vehicular Assault by OVI
Degree of Offense: Second-Degree Felony (F2)
Elements of Offense: Causing serious harm to another by means of committing an OVI AND one of the following applies:

1.      driving under a license suspension at the time of the offense

2.      prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

3.      prior conviction for using a vehicle as a weapon in your lifetime

4.      3 or more prior OVI convictions in the past 10 years or

5.      Two or more felony OVI convictions lifetime

Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 2 to 8 years
License Suspension: License suspension of 2 to 10 years; license suspension of 3 years to lifetime if prior vehicular homicide/assault or use of vehicle as a weapon in your lifetime.

Click here to see additional charges under vehicular assault with aggravating circumstances.


Vehicular Assault by Recklessness
Degree of Offense: Fourth-Degree Felony (F4)
Elements of Offense: Causing serious harm to another as a result of driving recklessly or committing a reckless operation offense in a construction zone
Punishment: Prison term of 6 to 18 months, probation-eligible at judge’s discretion
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years
Vehicular Assault by Recklessness
Degree of Offense: Third-Degree Felony (F3)
Elements of Offense: Causing serious harm to another as a result of driving recklessly or committing a reckless operation offense in a construction zone AND one of the following applies:

1.      driving under a suspended license at the time of the offense

2.      Having a prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

3.      While committing the offense, leave the scene of the accident (hit-skip)

Punishment: Prison term of 1 to 5 years. Prison term is mandatory if #1 or 2 above applies, probation eligible if #3 above applies.
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years. Suspension is 2 to 10 years if prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault or use of a vehicle as a weapon.

Click here to see additional charges under vehicular assault by recklessness with aggravating circumstances.


Vehicular Assault by Speeding in Construction Zone
Degree of Offense: First-Degree Misdemeanor (M1)
Elements of Offense: Causing serious harm to a person who is located in a construction zone as a result of a speeding offense
Punishment: Mandatory jail term of 7 days to a maximum of 180 days
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years. Suspension is 2 to 10 years if prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault or use of a vehicle as a weapon.

 

Vehicular Assault by Speeding in Construction Zone
Degree of Offense: Fourth-Degree Felony (F4)
Elements of Offense: Causing serious harm to a person who is located in a construction zone as a result of a speeding offense AND one of the following applies:

1.      driving under a suspended license at the time of the offense

2.      Having a prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault in your lifetime

Punishment: Mandatory prison term of 6 to 18 months
License Suspension: License suspension of 1 to 5 years. Suspension is 2 to 10 years if prior conviction for vehicular homicide or assault or use of a vehicle as a weapon.

Click here to see additional charges under vehicular assault by speeding in construction zone with aggravating circumstances.