Vehicular manslaughter is a serious crime affecting everyone involved. While the death may have been an accident, prosecutors will come after you with force, especially if the offense was the result of driving under the influence or reckless driving. On top of this, the alleged victim’s family may file a claim against you in civil court for wrongful death.
Vehicular manslaughter is a felony offense in Colorado. This means you could spend time in prison and be required to pay expensive fines. Not to mention the collateral consequences entailing a felony conviction. Exercise your right to legal counsel and contact legal representation.
Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
Being charged with a violent crime such as vehicular manslaughter will require an experienced and skilled criminal defense attorney. Take the first step in your defense and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for your situation.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a confidential consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. defends clients accused of vehicular manslaughter in cities across El Paso, Denver County, and Arapahoe County such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.
- What is Vehicular Manslaughter?
- Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter in Colorado
- Texting and Vehicular Manslaughter
- Additional Resources
What is Vehicular Manslaughter?
According to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation, El Paso County leads the state in the number of fatal car accidents. Some of these fatalities may have been from inclement weather or faulty vehicles, but a vast number of them are the result of driving under the influence and distracted driving.
Vehicular manslaughter involves killing another person as a proximate cause of driving under the influence or reckless driving. The court must prove your reckless or intoxicated driving was the proximate cause of another’s death to convict you. Reckless driving is considered a negligent behavior, meaning you are aware of your actions and the danger they pose but continue doing them. Reckless driving behaviors can range from texting and driving, running red lights and speeding.
Driving under the influence is also considered a reckless driving behavior, but Colorado penalizes the act further when it involves the death of another. Under Colorado law, you can meet the legal definition of under the influence in one of two ways: having a BAC of .08% or higher or being high on drugs to the point you are physically and mentally incapable of safely operating a vehicle.
It’s inadmissible in court to argue the drugs that impaired your driving was legally purchased. Once you consume a substance, whether it be marijuana or prescription drugs, you are still responsible for your actions.
Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter in Colorado
Vehicular manslaughter is a serious crime resulting in expensive fines and time behind bars. It’s advised you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested or charged with the offense. The legal consequence of vehicular manslaughter depends on the driving behavior causing the death of another.
Penalties for vehicular manslaughter can include the following:
- Vehicular Manslaughter by DUI: Class 3 felony punishable by four to 12 years in prison, a fine between $3,000 and $750,000 and a minimum license suspension of one year.
- Vehicular Manslaughter by Reckless Driving: Class 4 felony punishable by two to six years in prison, a fine between $2,000 and $50,000 and a minimum license suspension of one year.
Various state, local and federal laws impose additional collateral consequences on convicted felons. This impact is far greater than fines and time behind bars. Colorado is an open record state, so your criminal record is widely available to the public. One background check and you could lose your job, professional license or have a difficult time finding employment. A felony conviction can also result in the loss of federal funding such as student aid and the lost right to keep and bear arms.
Texting and Vehicular Manslaughter
Everyone knows texting and driving is dangerous, but the act still plagues the Colorado roadways. In fact, this form of distracted driving accounts for 16 percent of all fatal crashes in the state. Using a mobile device while driving is illegal in Colorado. This includes texting, talking, checking social media and sending emails.
The court will not react kindly if you were using a cell phone or other mobile device while committing vehicular manslaughter. You could face an additional year behind bars and a fine up to $1,000 if texting and driving was the proximate cause of death of another. It’s advised you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if this is the case for you.
Vehicular Homicide | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read through the statute governing vehicular homicide in Colorado. You can read the exact legal definition of the offense, find out when a driver is not considered under the influence of alcohol and who can legally take your blood to determine the level of alcohol or drugs in your system.
Fatal Accidents by County | Colorado Department of Transportation – Visit the official website of the Colorado Department of Transportation to view statistics for fatal vehicular accidents by county or 2019. You can also gain access to fatality statistic by city and stats from previous years.
Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
The best defense you can take when charged with vehicular manslaughter is contacting Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will use our decades of experience to your advantage. Do not hesitate when your livelihood is on the line. The sooner you contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C., the sooner we can begin building your defense.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a time to speak with us more about your case. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. proudly defends those accused of violent crimes in Colorado counties such as El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.