New River Vehicular Homicide Lawyer

If you were in a vehicle accident and someone suffered fatal injuries, you could face criminal consequences. Prosecutors sometimes charge a driver who causes an accident that kills someone with homicide.

Contact a seasoned criminal attorney at our firm immediately if you face criminal charges related to someone’s death in a wreck. A New River vehicular homicide lawyer could investigate the crash, gather all available evidence, and provide a vigorous defense to the charge.

How a Crash Could Lead to a Homicide Charge

A homicide is a death resulting from someone else’s conduct. The conduct that led to the death could be an intentional or reckless action or failure to act. When the instrument that caused the death is a motor vehicle, people usually refer to the crime as a vehicular homicide; however, Arizona penal code does not contain this specific crime.

Instead, the circumstances surrounding the wreck determine the charge a driver might face. A New River vehicular homicide attorney could analyze why a driver faces a particular charge and gather evidence to refute the prosecutor’s theories.

All criminal charges related to fatal vehicle accidents are dangerous felonies with harsh punishments. A person convicted of a dangerous felony typically must serve their prison sentence and is not eligible for early release, a partially suspended sentence, probation, or other relief.

Potential Charges in a Vehicular Homicide Case

A fatal vehicle accident could lead to one of three charges: negligent homicide, manslaughter, or second-degree murder. The greater the degree of recklessness or intentionality, the more severe the charge the driver will likely face.

When a prosecutor can show a driver failed to appreciate a substantial and unreasonable risk of harm, Arizona Revised Statute §13-1102 calls for a negligent homicide charge. Manslaughter, as defined in Arizona Revised Statute §13-1103, could be the charge if the prosecutor can show the driver behaved recklessly, meaning they were aware their conduct could cause harm but proceeded anyway. When a prosecutor can show that the driver acted intentionally to harm someone with their vehicle or acted in disregard of the likelihood that someone would suffer harm, the charge might be second-degree murder.

Each of the possible vehicular homicide charges requires a prosecutor to prove the driver’s intent. The prosecutor usually must prove intent using circumstantial evidence. Our skilled lawyers in New River can challenge the prosecutor’s conclusions to defeat or minimize vehicular homicide charges and penalties.

Possible Consequences of a Vehicular Homicide Conviction

Because a vehicular homicide charge is a dangerous felony, the potential sentences are harsh. Mandatory minimum prison sentences apply even for first offenders, and those with prior felony convictions could sometimes face decades in prison. Our experienced legal team could present a compelling defense to dismiss or reduce a vehicular homicide charge and prevent these severe repercussions.

Negligent Homicide

Negligent homicide, a Class 4 dangerous felony, carries a presumptive sentence of six years in prison. However, a judge could impose a sentence as long as eight years or as short as four years. The prison sentence could extend to 15 years if the offender has prior convictions.


Manslaughter is a Class 2 felony, with a presumptive sentence for a first offender of ten years and six months and a possible range of seven to 21 years. Repeat offenders could face a sentence as long as 28 years. If convicted of second-degree murder, a first offender faces a presumptive sentence of 16 years, and a judge could sentence a repeat offender to life in prison.

Contact a New River Attorney to Defend a Vehicular Homicide Case

The aftermath of a fatal car accident is stressful and confusing, and even more so if you face criminal charges. Do not try to handle the matter without an experienced criminal attorney.

A New River vehicular homicide lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can work tirelessly to get a charge dismissed or reduced. When that outcome is not possible, we will build an aggressive defense to obtain an acquittal. Get in touch with us as soon as possible to get started.

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