Penalties for DUI Manslaughter
By: Mary Ann Pekara
It’s heartbreaking to lose a loved one. But the pain can be even worse if a family member or friend dies in an accident that never should’ve taken place. That’s why the laws are so severe when it comes to drunk driving and DUI manslaughter charges.
Sentencing DUI Manslaughter Offenders
If you’re driving while intoxicated and you kill another person, you may be convicted of DUI manslaughter. Depending on the state and the severity of the incident, this crime often results in a prison term of 5 years or more.
Some states such as California charge offenders with progressively harsher punishments for DUI manslaughter. Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and second-degree murder are charges that a convicted individual could face in certain circumstances.
In addition to the possibility of serious jail time, a person convicted of DUI manslaughter may also face steep fines. The fines vary by state and could have wide range, such as from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00, or more.
Not only can a convicted DUI offender get serious jail time and be forced to pay hefty fines, but this person may also have his or her license permanently revoked. It should be noted, however, that the penalty often depends on the state where the offense took place and the circumstances of the incident as well.
Misdemeanor or Felony?
In most states a conviction of DUI manslaughter is considered a felony. This is largely because the incident involved the death of another person. Even if this is a first offense for the individual charged with the crime, the penalty is still classified as a felony throughout the majority of the United States. Depending on the state's laws, a first offense drunk driving arrest that does not involve the serious injury or death of another person may often be judged as a misdemeanor.
When a person is convicted of DUI manslaughter, this individual may be sentenced to much more than legal penalties. The psychological effect of such a devastating crime may last a lifetime.
Connect with a DUI Manslaughter Attorney Near You
If you’ve been arrested for manslaughter DUI, find out more information about the laws in your state and how they apply to your case. Complete the form on this page to connect right away with a local DUI defense attorney.