Aggravated Vehicular Homicide Charges
Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney
Aggravated vehicular homicide (Ohio Revised Code 2903.06) is either a 1st degree or 2nd degree felony depending upon the driving record of the defendant. Penalties include mandatory prison terms with penalties up to:
First Degree Felony
- 10 years in prison
- $20,000 fine
Second Degree Felony
- 8 years in prison
- $15,000 fine
If DUI / OVI has been charged as the proximate cause of the death, the penalties become mandatory and very difficult to get reduced or lowered. The State of Ohio must prove that committing DUI / OVI was the "proximate cause" of the death. Many times there are other causes in addition to alcohol. Each of these potential causes should be thoroughly investigated.
Is Speeding Alone Sufficient to Convict?
Vehicular Homicide / Vehicular Assault is upgraded to a felony status if a defendant's actions or record matches certain criteria in the Ohio Revised Code. On average, most Aggravated Vehicular Homicide / Assault cases are a result of either DUI or reckless driving. If a motorist is merely negligent, but not DUI or reckless, and the accident leads to serious injury or death, most cases will be treated as a misdemeanor. There is no mandatory prison or jail associated with those types of cases.
However, what happens if a motorist is simply going above the posted speed limit and crashes into another vehicle causing death or serious injury? Is that reckless? Is that a felony? On December 2, 2010, the Franklin County Court of Appeals in Columbus, Ohio issued a decision addressing what is "reckless" ( Click Here to Read Our Blog on this Case)
Example Vehicular Homicide Case
Recently, the 12 th District Court of Appeals in Ohio (an appeal from Brown County, Ohio) affirmed a conviction that a professional truck driver who was going 60 m.p.h. in a 55 m.p.h. zone was guilty of being "reckless" when his rig crashed into another vehicle killing the rear seat passenger and seriously injuring the two front seat passengers. State v. Taylor (8-16-10). His defense that he was merely negligent (thus guilty of a misdemeanor) didn't fly.
This case illustrates the fluidity of accident death cases in Ohio and all across America. Depending upon the hue and cry, some accident death cases are being prosecuted as higher level felonies, even murder.
How Koffel Brininger Nesbitt Will Handle Your Case
Vehicular Homicide in Ohio (Ohio Revised Code 2903.06) is the charge when alcohol or recklessness is not involved in the fatal accident. If a motorist causes an accident resulting in the tragic death of another, the police will likely test blood samples of everyone involved. Witnesses will be interviewed and accident reconstruction will commence. If the collision is the result of simple negligence, the motorist will most likely be charged with Vehicular Homicide.
In some cases, with an independent investigation, it is determined that the person either did not cause the accident. Each case has unique evidence and circumstances and must be thoroughly analyzed by the legal team at KBN in order to advise you how the defense of your case will proceed.
The courts can come down hard on individuals convicted of this crime, and overcoming the barrier of prejudice against the accused client may be part of what the attorney must achieved for the client. At KBN, the knowledgeable attorney will take the case in hand and seek out any opening for the defense and will aggressively fight for the client. It is critical that you contact the firm at once if you have been charged with this very serious crime.
Vehicular Homicide Defense Lawyer in Columbus
These are extremely dangerous charges and if convicted, it will likely change your life forever. If you or someone you know has been arrested and charged with aggravated vehicular homicide in Columbus Ohio or Franklin County Ohio, it is critical that you enlist the assistance of a proven Columbus vehicular homicide defense lawyer. If you or someone you know has been charged in one of the other 88 counties in Ohio, know that the attorneys of KBN will review the case and make a decision within 24 hours if they can help or not.
At KBN the legal team has over 21 years of experience in criminal defense, and is one of the most highly rated law firms in Ohio.
The firm's partners are listed in Best Lawyers in America and Ohio Super Lawyers ®. These honors are not easily won, cannot be paid for, and are limited to less than 3% of the attorneys in America. KBN's meticulous and aggressive approach to the defense of serious criminal cases is what is needed in such a case. Contact a Columbus criminal defense attorney at our firm today by calling (614) 675-4845.