Alabama Vehicular Homicide Lawyer
Every homicide crime involves the killing of another human being. Unlike most other states in the country, Alabama does not have a specific statute addressing vehicular homicide. However, even in the absence of such a statute, a motorist who strikes and kills another person while operating a motor vehicle is still subject to Alabama’s general homicide laws.
If you strike and kill someone while operating your vehicle, the State could charge you with negligent homicide, manslaughter, or murder. If you find yourself facing any of these charges after a car crash contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Alabama vehicular homicide lawyer could have the legal knowledge and skills to raise potential legal defenses on your behalf and defend you in court.
Negligent Homicide in Car Accidents
A driver who strikes and kills another person while behind the wheel of a car due to their own carelessness or inattention may be charged with negligent homicide. In a nutshell, criminal negligence occurs when a person acts—or fails to act—in a way that creates a significant risk of harm to another person.
All drivers are held to the standard of care of a reasonable driver operating a vehicle under the same or similar circumstances. If a driver significantly deviates from this standard of care and strikes and kills someone as a result, they may ultimately face charges for negligent homicide. In most cases, negligent homicides are Class A misdemeanors. A conviction for this level of crime in Alabama carries up to one year in jail and up to $6,000 in monetary fines.
When it comes to manslaughter charges in the context of vehicular homicide, the key word to bear in mind is reckless. When a person knowingly does something—or fails to do something—that causes a serious risk of harm to others, a judge or jury may deem that that person was reckless under the circumstances.
In order for the State to convict someone of manslaughter, the defendant must have ordinarily been aware of the serious risk of harm but, for whatever reason, chose to disregard it. A conviction for vehicular manslaughter conviction can result in up to 20 years’ incarceration and up to $30,000 in fines. For help with building a defense, reach out to vehicular homicide attorney in Alabama
Murder Charges Involving Vehicles
When a motor vehicle driver strikes and kills someone, the State could also charge the driver with second-degree murder under Code of Alabama §13A-6-2. A conviction for second-degree murder can result in anywhere from ten years to life in prison, along with a monetary fine of up to $60,000.
In order to prove that a driver is guilty of second-degree murder, the State must show that the driver engaged in reckless conduct which created a grave risk of death to the other person. Alternatively, the State must show that the driver’s conduct demonstrated a reckless disregard for human life under the circumstances. For more information, contact an Alabama vehicular homicide lawyer.
How an Alabama Vehicular Homicide Attorney Could Help
If you are facing a charge of negligent homicide, manslaughter, or second-degree murder charge following a car accident, you may need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side throughout your case. An Alabama vehicular homicide lawyer could work safeguard all of your legal interests while your criminal case is pending and present your case at trial in the best possible light.