Criminal Vehicular Homicide Attorneys
Criminal vehicular homicide is an extremely serious charge with long-last consequences, including prison. If you are facing this charge, it is absolutely imperative that you hire an experienced and skilled Minnesota criminal vehicular homicide attorney to develop a strategic defense to best combat this case.
What is Criminal Vehicular Homicide?
In order for driving conduct to rise to the level of criminal vehicular homicide in Minnesota, there must be a death, that does not constitute murder or manslaughter, caused by operating a vehicle in one of the following manners:
- In a grossly negligent manner, which is defined as very great negligence and an absence of even slight care – it requires the presence of egregious driving conduct coupled with other evidence of negligence;
- In a negligent manner while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any combination of the two;
- In violation of the DWI law;
- In a negligent manner while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance;
- In a negligent manner with any amount of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II, other than THC or marijuana, in your system – there is an affirmative defense if a defendant can show that they were taking a valid prescription medication that resulted in the presence of the controlled substance in his/her system;
- Where the driver caused an accident and flees or fails to notify police; or
- Where the driver had actual knowledge of a previously issued citation or warning that the motor vehicle was defectively maintained, the driver had actual knowledge that remedial action was not taken, the driver had reason to know that the defect created a present danger to others, and the death was caused by the defective maintenance.
Criminal Penalties for Criminal Vehicular Homicide
Even for an individual with no prior record, the presumptive criminal sentence for a criminal vehicular homicide is prison. And if the person has a qualified prior driving offense, such as a serious DWI or prior criminal vehicular operation, the prison sentence is not only mandatory, but it’s lengthy, to say the least. The maximum penalty is ten years and/or a fine of $20,000.
Despite the presumptive sentence being a prison term, a smart criminal vehicular homicide attorney may be able to counsel a defendant to a position to seek a departure from this prison term. A departure could involve jail time or even just extensive community service, depending on the circumstances of the case. This is why it is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side to not only fight for you, but to know when and how to best fight for you. Sometimes, the best fight is at sentencing when the facts are so strong against a defendant.
On top of having serious criminal consequences, the State does not stop there with the impact to a defendant from a criminal vehicular homicide conviction. Another impactful collateral consequence is the loss of driver’s license. Depending on the case and your driving record, you can lose your driving privileges for as many as 10 years. At a minimum, you are facing a 2-year loss of license. An experienced Minnesota criminal vehicular homicide attorney knows how to best limit this consequence and get your driving privileges back on a restricted or limited basis during your revocation period. But, in addition, a savvy criminal vehicular homicide attorney knows how to leverage this for a successful sentencing argument.
In addition to this significant loss of license, you will likely face a vehicle forfeiture, restitution, loss of rights, loss of job, and having a tough time getting future employment or housing.
Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Operation Attorney
North Star Criminal Defense has more than 30 years of experience successfully defending our clients against these serious charges. We offer an unmatched client care experience and will earn your trust as we provide you the aggressive defense that you need. Contact us now for a consultation.