Memorial Day weekend gives many Virginia residents a much-needed respite from the rat-race of the working world. People go camping, go to parties and cook-outs, go to the beach or simply relax in their own backyards. Memorial Day is also a popular time for people to kick back with a drink or two. While most people in Virginia will handle their alcohol responsibly, that doesn’t mean that once they get in their cars that they won’t be involved in a car accident.
Some car accidents are minor “fender-benders,” causing vehicular damage, but no injuries. Unfortunately, not every person is so lucky and sometimes a car accident is fatal. And, should a motorist be accused of driving under the influence when the fatal crash occurred, the situation becomes very serious indeed.
Under Virginia law, if a motorist is driving under the influence and unintentionally kills someone in a car wreck, then the motorist may have committed involuntary manslaughter. Moreover, if the motorist was under the influence and was acting in such a reckless manner as to demonstrate a total disregard for human life, then the motorist may have committed aggravated involuntary manslaughter. This is a felony crime that carries with it a prison sentence of one to 20 years. Also, that motorist’s license to drive will be revoked.
Being accused of vehicular homicide is a very serious situation. The possibility of up to 20 years in prison could absolutely ruin a person’s life. Even upon release from prison, they will need to find new housing and a new job, all of which can be made more difficult for a person with a felony conviction on their criminal record. Therefore, those who have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after a car accident will want to ensure that they do all they can to defend themselves against such charges.