Goldsboro Vehicular Manslaughter Defense Lawyer
Defending Accused Drivers Throughout Goldsboro
North Carolina criminalizes driving offenses that cause death as “death-by-vehicle” crimes, also colloquially known as vehicular manslaughter crimes. The offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. If you have been accused of or arrested for causing the death of another person while driving, contact our defense lawyers at Strickland Agner Pittman immediately to discuss your legal options. We are experienced and knowledgeable attorneys who will handle your case with respect, attention, and rigor. We firmly believe in your right to justice as an unfairly accused defendant, and we will do our best to protect your driving record and your criminal record.
Contact Strickland Agner Pittman for an initial consultation to get started on your defense.
What Is a Crime of Vehicular Manslaughter?
North Carolina classifies death-by-vehicle crimes into two categories – misdemeanor and felony. Misdemeanor death-by-vehicle is when a driver causes the death of another person while committing a traffic violation other than drunk driving, such as speeding, reckless driving, or texting while behind the wheel.
Felony vehicular manslaughter is driving while intoxicated (DWI) and causing the death of another person. A driver is considered “impaired” under North Carolina’s DWI laws when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, have any amount of a Schedule I drug in their body, or are otherwise significantly impaired by drugs or alcohol.
In order to convict someone of death-by-vehicle, there must exist proof that the driver’s traffic violation or impairment was the legal cause of the death. In other words, the offender’s unlawful driving must be the direct cause of the other person’s death.
Misdemeanor and Felony Penalties
Death-by-vehicle is penalized based on the circumstances. In general, the misdemeanor and felony penalties for vehicular manslaughter are:
- Misdemeanor death-by-vehicle: Class A1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 150 days in jail and some amount in fines determined by the judge.
- Felony death-by-vehicle: Class D felony punishable by 38-160 months in prison and a fine determined by the judge.
A driver accused of felony death-by-vehicle and who has a prior DWI conviction within the past 7 years may be charged with aggravated felony death-by-vehicle, which is a Class D felony punishable by 64-160 months in prison and a possible fine.
Additionally, all drivers who have been convicted of vehicular manslaughter will face at least one year of license revocation. Those convicted of felony death-by-vehicle may also be required to attend a substance abuse program, and their vehicle may be seized if they have accumulated repeat DWIs related to vehicular manslaughter.
Our lawyers at Strickland Agner Pittman are here to assist you in the face of vehicular manslaughter charges. We will make sure you understand all your rights and your possible avenues of defense. As a full-service law firm, we have the necessary breadth of legal knowledge of murder, manslaughter, and DWI laws that we can pull together to form a strong and effective defense against your death-by-vehicle accusation.
Schedule an initial consultation with Strickland Agner Pittman today to get started on your defense immediately.
If you have been stopped or arrested for vehicular manslaughter, you have several rights you can assert as a defendant. For one, you have the right to remain silent (your Miranda rights). It is critical that you do not say anything without first speaking with an attorney. It is likely that law enforcement may use your own words against you, so you are better off consulting an attorney first before you answer any questions from the police.
However, just because you do not have to speak to law enforcement, you do have to comply with the laws and regulations following an arrest. You must cooperate with law enforcement, such as abiding by North Carolina’s “implied consent” laws in the case of DWI arrests. These laws specify that all drivers must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test if they have been lawfully arrested for DWI.