Hit and Run
Gross Vehicular Manslaughter: Without Intoxication
The crime of gross vehicular manslaughter consists of a person driving a vehicle and while driving that vehicle, commits a misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act that might cause death, and the person committed the misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act that might cause death with gross negligence, and the person’s grossly negligent conduct caused the death of another person.
The crime of Gross Negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. A person acts with gross negligence when: he or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and a reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk. In other words, a person acts with gross negligence when the way he or she acts is so different from how an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his or her act amounts to disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of that act.
Examples might be, excessive speeding, recklessly passing cars, crossing double yellow lines (to pass or for other reasons), recklessly weaving in and out of traffic, impromptu street racing, dangerous driving prompted by road rage.
Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter Cases
The crime of vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence occurs when: while driving a vehicle, the person committed a misdemeanor, infraction, or other lawful act in an unlawful manner; the misdemeanor, infraction, or otherwise lawful act was dangerous to human life under the circumstances of its commission; the defendant committed the misdemeanor, infraction, or other lawful act with ordinary negligence; and the misdemeanor, infraction, or otherwise lawful act caused the death of another person.
The element that distinguishes Gross Vehicular Manslaughter from Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter is the degree of negligence required. Ordinary negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to oneself or another party. A person is deemed negligent if he/she does something or fails to do something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation.
If you have been charged with Gross or Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter, give me a call so that we can go over your case to determine any potential defenses you may have.