Being charged with dariving intoxicated or driving while intoxicated (DUI-DWI) is often a absolutely serious situation for every driver. The difficulties are a lot more serious when the charge is for some kind of vehicular murder when someone was mortally wounded as the result of a crash in which the motorist was intoxicated by alcohol, even on a level insufficient to support a DUI-DWI charge. Understanding the fundamentals of homicide charges arising from drunk-driving incidents and understanding the criminal prosecution of such cases can really help in dealing with the circumstance.
Definition of Vehicular Homicide. Vehicular homicide is defined as a distinct offense in many jurisdictions, with the essential elements being that: A homicide was committed.By means of a vehicle The operator of which was impaired by alcohol at the time of the accident. Some states call for the prosecution to verify that a driver was inebriated under state law at the time of the accident to aid a conviction, and others just need proof that alcohol impairment of the driver was a proximate cause of the death. Proximate cause is something which, in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any intervening cause, produces injury, and without which the result would not have occurred.
Not all killing of persons, or homicides, are crimes.. The definitions of homicide-related criminal offenses will differ among jurisdictions, but one can find key differences between the several kinds of crimes.
Murder involves malice, and some jurisdictions will include deaths caused by drunk driving within the definition of murder. Manslaughter involves intent to kill, but not malice, or actions that are reckless, wanton and grossly negligent, which result in a person’s death, without intent to kill. Manslaughter offenses may be categorized by degree, or there may be a distinction between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter.
Some jurisdictions will have a lesser offense of criminally negligent homicide, in which a person caused another person’s death by driving a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner, but the circumstances did not amount to a manslaughter or a murder offense.
Proof of Vehicular Homicide and Defending the Case. From the moment of the arrival of the law enforcement department at an accident scene, investigation of the accident and the recovery of data is significant to both the prosecution and the defense in a vehicular homicide case. Given the character of the crime, the defendant in a drunk driving vehicular homicide case is an unpopular defendant, yet he may well be a driver who prior to the time of the accident had a great driving history and now could be looking at mandatory sentencing and imprisonment if convicted. The part of a driver’s defense attorney is essential from the primary stages of the case, as is the task of the prosecutor, who will often have to look for a conviction based on circumstantial evidence since there are often simply no witnesses in drunk driving cases.
The important element in a case will be to establish the driver’s inebriation or that he was influenced by alcohol, and that his condition was the proximate reason of the death. A driver’s defense attorney will likely start out an independent investigation of the collision, and will seek to get rid of the fault of the driver in the accident. Both police and defense investigations will seek to answer: Whether the defendant was the driver of the vehicle in question.
Whether the defendant/driver was intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. Whether the defendant’s/driver’s use of alcohol caused the accident (there may also be attempts to assign fault to other parties, such as the driver’s companions/passengers or the party who provided the driver with alcohol)Whether the defendant’s/driver’s car was involved in the accident, which may be a question in hit and run cases. The prosecution and the defense will rely upon several categories of evidence:
Evidence from the accident scene, including physical evidence, photos of the scene and the vehicle’s interior, measurements, and street markings. Identification of the driver involved in the accident. Testimony from a crash investigator/crash reconstructionist. Expert witness testimony on the vital question of whether a crime or an accident has occurred, based on whether the driver’s use of alcohol was the proximate cause of the crash For help with a criminal defense Athens GA, contact a criminal attorney Athens.