Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer in Reno, NV
Proven Reno Criminal Defense Attorneys
Motorists who cause fatal accidents in Nevada can face criminal charges and penalties under state law. This is true whether motorists drive under the influence (DUI) or not. In Nevada, one of the least serious allegations an individual can face in connection to a fatal accident is vehicular manslaughter.
Vehicular manslaughter is distinctly different from other criminal charges that can result from a fatal car accident, including vehicular homicide, reckless driving causing death, and felony DUI causing death charges. As defined by state law, these are all unique charges:
- Vehicular manslaughter – A motorist can be charged with vehicular manslaughter when they cause the death of another person due to an act of negligence. This can include anything from driving distracted, failing to yield, running a red light, or speeding, but NOT driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and NOT reckless driving.
- Reckless driving causing death – Reckless driving causing death is a separate crime from vehicular manslaughter, and it is different because it involves a motorist who causes a fatal accident while willfully disregarding the safety or others. This can include driving significantly over posted speed limits, committing multiple traffic infractions, and driving in a manner that would constitute reckless driving or road rage.
- Felony DUI causing death – If a motorist caused the death of another while driving under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs and has two or less DUI convictions on their record, they would most likely be charged with felony DUI for causing death. This charge is different from both vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide, but still carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
- Vehicular homicide – As the most serious DUI allegation one can face in Nevada, vehicular homicide only applies to cases where a motorist kills another person while driving under the influence of alcohol and / or drugs and when they have three prior DUI convictions. Vehicular homicide subjects defendants to sentences of up to 25 years to life in prison.
Vehicular Manslaughter: Penalties & Defense
Because vehicular manslaughter is a lesser offense than reckless driving causing death, felony DUI causing death, and vehicular homicide, it is charged as a misdemeanor in Nevada. Depending on the facts of the case, convicted individuals can face serious penalties and administrative consequences including:
- Up to six months imprisonment
- Up to $1,000 in court-ordered fines
- Driver’s license suspension
Defending against these charges is a case-by-case matter that demands meticulous investigation. In some cases, it may prove viable to argue that the victim themselves caused or contributed to the fatal accident through their own negligence, which would reduce or eliminate the culpability of the other motorist. Our legal team works personally with clients, law enforcement who compiled any police reports, witnesses, and prosecutors to determine what defense strategy proves most appropriate in a given case, and works aggressively to defend clients against charges, seek reduced charges or penalties, and protect our clients’ futures. Vehicular manslaughter may also be a reduced charge motorists can plead guilty to as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors, especially if they are charged with a more serious felony offense, such as reckless driving causing death.
Discuss Your Case & Rights During a FREE Consultation
Being involved in a fatal accident is not easy experience to endure, especially when criminal charges are levied against you by the government. However, it is your right as a criminal suspect and defendant to secure legal representation to protect your rights, freedom, and future – and our team of award-winning criminal defense lawyers at Joey Gilbert Law are available to immediately help.
If you wish to discuss a vehicular manslaughter charge anywhere in Reno or the surrounding areas of Nevada – or any other criminal allegation involving fatal accidents or DUI – do not hesitate to call (775) 574-4774 or contact us online for a FREE and confidential consultation. Joey Gilbert Law is available 24/7 to fight for you!