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Even if you did not intend to cause harm, you could face criminal prosecution after a severe vehicular accident. When a crash leads to someone else’s death, vehicular homicide charges may allege that you behaved recklessly. These are serious, felony-level charges that can affect your life for years to come.
A Tolleson vehicular homicide lawyer is your best shot at fighting against these allegations in court. The former prosecutors at Grand Canyon Law Group can work to show that your behavior does not fit the definition of recklessness under state law. Our dedicated defense attorneys can also contest the methods that police officers use to obtain evidence or challenge the connection between your actions and the fatal incident.
Most examples of crimes involving someone’s death allege that someone acted intentionally to cause harm. However, there are also instances under the law where a person may face criminal prosecution for allegedly causing a death through reckless behavior. In general, we refer to these cases as examples of manslaughter.
Arizona Revised Statute § 13-1103 says that a person commits manslaughter when they cause another’s death through reckless actions—acting recklessly while behind the wheel certainly fits this definition. A car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle is a dangerous instrument in the eyes of the law. Anyone driving these vehicles has an obligation to act responsibly and avoid causing harm to others.
Various behaviors may lead to allegations of recklessness. Something as simple as speeding can lead to a police officer making an arrest after a fatal collision. Other examples of reckless behavior can include:
A Tolleson vehicular homicide attorney at our firm is ready to fully explain the concepts of manslaughter and recklessness. We will work to develop specific defenses against these allegations and present them in court.
Vehicular homicide is a serious allegation under state law. The statute cited above lists this act as a class 2 felony. This means that even if this is a person’s first felony conviction and there are mitigating factors, a conviction must result in no less than seven years in prison. If aggravating factors are present, the sentence may be as long as 21 years.
However, there are many ways to contest these charges in court. One option is to challenge whether a defendant driver acted recklessly before the incident. Whether or not a person was acting recklessly is a matter of opinion. Especially when an incident does not include other criminal allegations, such as drunk driving, it may be possible to convince a jury that the defendant was not acting recklessly when the fatal accident unfortunately occurred. A skilled vehicular homicide lawyer could also argue that the death was unrelated to the defendant’s actions.
Accusations that you caused someone’s death due to recklessness while driving are life-changing allegations. Convictions are felonies that come with lengthy mandatory prison terms. It is crucially important to begin building a defense as soon as possible.
The sooner you speak with a Tolleson vehicular homicide lawyer, the sooner they can begin providing the support you need. Grand Canyon Law Group is ready to explain the state’s manslaughter laws and the legal concept of recklessness. We will investigate the incident and build a tailored defense to present in court. Contact us today to learn how we can fight for you and your rights.