Vehicular Manslaughter

Vehicular manslaughter, which is also known as vehicular homicide, is a crime in the majority of jurisdictions in the United States. Because it falls under homicide, there is an unlawful taking of some other human's life.

Typically, vehicular manslaughter is the charge given when there is a death that is the result of one person's negligent operation of a motor vehicle or that is the result of driving while committing some other unlawful act that does not amount to a felony.

In jurisdictions that recognize vehicular manslaughter, this type of manslaughter is a lesser charge than regular manslaughter. The Model Penal Code does not have a separate category of vehicular homicide and so includes this type of homicide with other homicides that involve negligence.

The only states that lack vehicular homicide or manslaughter statutes are Alaska, Montana, and Arizona. Every other state has a statute that defines the crime and lists the elements. By enacting laws concerning vehicular homicide, the states have, in effect, made a car or other vehicle a potentially deadly weapon. This allows them to convict individuals more easily and to inflict more severe penalties.

When a person is charged with vehicular homicide or manslaughter, the victim, or defendant, can either have been in the car with the individual at the time of an accident that caused his or her death or be located outside of the car, like a pedestrian or other passenger in another car.

Contact an Austin Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide and would like to learn more about the crime and possible defenses, contact Austin criminal defense attorney Ian Inglis at (512) 472-1950.


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