In the catalog of events that constitute criminal homicide in New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5, Death By Auto Or Vessel (usually called Vehicular Homicide or Vehicular Manslaughter), is defined as a death caused by driving a vehicle or vessel recklessly.
Examples would include knowingly getting behind the wheel, or continuing to drive, while excessively tired and falling asleep, resulting in a tragic accident.
A person who operates a car or vessel while intoxicated on alcohol or drugs can similarly be charged under 2C:11-5.
Even if you’re someone who would never drive drunk, if prosecutors can show you were on your cell phone without a hands-free device you can also be convicted.
Typically, vehicular homicide is a crime of the second degree, which can produce a sentence of five to 10 years if you’re convicted.
When the driver was intoxicated and the death occurred on or around school grounds, the charge becomes first degree, with a sentence of 10 years or longer possible.
In drunk driving cases, you will also have your license revoked for at least five years, and as long as the rest of your life.
This period will commence upon completion of any prison sentence you are subject to.
If you’ve been charged with Death By Auto Or Vessel, seek the expert counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
The penalties for vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter sound bad, but for many who’ve recklessly caused the death of another while operating a vehicle, the problems only begin with the criminal phase of the case.
While the state can exact big fines and even put you in prison, a civil suit filed by the family of a victim can devastate you financially for the rest of your life.
An event as described under 2C:11-5 can derail your future entirely.
Get experienced help right away.
Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 and talk to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney for free.