Aiken Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer

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A vehicular manslaughter conviction can be life-changing. Loss of life resulting from negligence is among the most vigorously prosecuted offenses, regardless of whether the crime occurred on purpose or not.

If found guilty, your freedoms and rights could be taken away from you, jeopardizing your chances of securing a job, buying property, and voting.

If you or somebody close to you is facing vehicular manslaughter charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to a seasoned criminal defense attorney.

The Aiken vehicular manslaughter lawyers at Johnson, Johnson, Whittle, Lancer, and Staggs are conversant with South Carolina’s code of laws. They can use their years of experience to formulate the best defense strategy to tell your side of the story.

If there’s an alternative proceeding available that won’t lead to a conviction, you can depend on our legal team to find it. If we can get a lesser charge through a plea bargain, we’ll negotiate a favorable deal.

If the charges being brought against you are unfounded, we’ll fight to have them dismissed entirely. Contact the Aiken vehicular manslaughter attorneys at JJWLS today to begin work on your defense case. Dial (803) 649-5338 or fill out our online form.

Table of Contents

What is Vehicular Manslaughter?

In South Carolina, Vehicular manslaughter allegations are brought against a driver who unintentionally causes the death of another individual through negligent, reckless, or intoxicated driving.

Vehicular manslaughter may also be called “reckless homicide,” “intoxication manslaughter,” or “felony DUI causing death.” The punishment for vehicular manslaughter can vary.

For an individual to be convicted of vehicular manslaughter, the prosecutor must definitively prove the following elements:

  • The defendant is unquestionably the driver responsible for the demise of another individual.
  • The actions of the defendant were risky to human life under the circumstances.
  • The defendant acted with reckless disregard for others’ safety.
  • There’s evidence the negligence of the driver directly caused the demise of another individual.

A conviction for vehicular homicide carries serious repercussions. If you have been arrested for reckless vehicular homicide or any other offense, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney immediately.

The circumstances surrounding each case are unique. A seasoned defense attorney in Aiken can assist you in understanding how the law applies to your case and determine the best course of action.

What Are the Types of Vehicular Manslaughter Offenses?

In South Carolina, vehicular manslaughter can be classified as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the details surrounding the case.

Most types of vehicular manslaughter offenses arise from negligent behavior. They include;

  • Inattention or ordinary negligence – This includes engaging in behaviors like distracted driving or averting your eyes from the road.
  • Criminal negligence – Criminal negligence is characterized by more egregious driving conduct like texting while driving or speeding.
  • Driving while intoxicated – Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol is the easiest offense to establish and prosecute, with the aid of chemical tests and eyewitness accounts.
  • Reckless driving – This entails noncompliance with safety regulations. It may encompass negligently passing an unloading school bus, performing an unlawful U-turn, recklessly altering lanes, or otherwise violating traffic rules in a way that causes an unintended fatality.
  • Drowsy driving – This level of negligence applies to vehicular manslaughter charges, and the prosecution must establish that the defendant consciously engaged in negligent behavior by falling asleep while operating a motor vehicle. For instance, a trucker who’s been awake for two consecutive days and decides to get behind the wheel would have demonstrated willful negligence.

What Qualifies Vehicular Manslaughter, and How is It Different from Other Offenses?

Any motorist who unwillingly causes a crash that leads to the death of a bystander, pedestrian, pedestrian, or another motorist qualifies to have vehicular manslaughter charges brought against them. This is also referred to as vehicular homicide.

These charges are applicable when it is proven the motorist was acting carelessly, recklessly, under the influence of intoxicating substances, or behaved in an otherwise illegal way. Vehicular homicide charges are relatively new.

Previously, drivers would be charged with involuntary manslaughter if their negligence or recklessness resulted in a death. Determining a manslaughter charge was hard in car accident cases.

The addition of this category assisted in dealing with this by providing a lesser punishment compared to the manslaughter charge.

How Can a Defense Lawyer Help in a Vehicular Manslaughter Case?

We know that facing vehicular manslaughter charges can be nerve-wracking and that you may be confused about what to do next. Vehicular manslaughter crimes are serious and are usually prosecuted to the full extent of the law, which is why you need to retain legal counsel right away.

The defense attorneys at JJWLS have in-depth knowledge of South Carolina’s code of laws and can assist you in defending yourself against harsh criminal convictions.

Our attorneys use tried-and-true, as well as innovative defense strategies to find unique ways of getting favorable case results. Some of the things we consider when building your case include:

  • Search and seizure concerns
  • Police reports
  • Field sobriety tests
  • Blood alcohol testing
  • Miranda rights violations

With our Aiken vehicular manslaughter lawyers on your side, the prosecution will have to put in considerable effort if they wish to obtain a conviction.

What Are Common Defenses Against Vehicular Manslaughter Charges?

Charges related to vehicular manslaughter necessitate an aggressive and persistent legal defense. Our defense lawyers have more than four decades of experience representing clients in Aiken, SC, who are undergoing similar circumstances.

As a result, we have obtained a thorough understanding of the most effective defense strategies to use for various types of criminal accusations, such as vehicular manslaughter. Common vehicular manslaughter defense strategies we use include:

  • Challenging the accuracy of accident reconstruction. We can call upon an independent accident reconstruction specialist to prove and provide testimony that your reckless behavior wasn’t the direct cause of death of the victim.
  • Disputing the causation link by proving you didn’t act with gross or ordinary negligence while behind the wheel. Questioning causation will seek to establish reasonable doubt.
  • Unlawfully obtained evidence. Even if a blood alcohol content (BAC) test indicates a 0.08% or higher BAC, our defense attorney may argue that the test was obtained in violation of the defendant’s rights or in violation of standard legal procedure.
  • Not under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Our attorneys may argue that the reckless behavior wasn’t due to alcohol or drugs but as a result of a medical emergency or pre-existing medical condition.

What Are the Potential Consequences of a Vehicular Manslaughter Conviction?

Charges related to vehicular manslaughter in South Carolina can result in severe repercussions, as well as have a profound impact on your professional and personal life.

It is vital to be aware of your legal rights and potential consequences if you have been charged with reckless driving in connection with the death of another individual.

Vehicular manslaughter in South Carolina can carry the following penalties:

  • Fines: You may be subject to pay fines between $1,000 and $5,000
  • Incarceration: A vehicular manslaughter conviction may carry a maximum prison sentence of ten years
  • License Suspension: License revocation for up to five years.

Is it Possible to Have Vehicular Manslaughter Charges Reduced or Dismissed?

Yes. Consulting with a seasoned vehicular manslaughter lawyer can assist in mitigating the potential consequences of the charge and even have them reduced or dismissed. Our defense attorneys at JJWLS can do this by:

  • Negotiating a plea deal – There are instances when taking a plea bargain and negotiating with the prosecution for reduced charges may be the best outcome for the accused.
  • Drafting a strong legal defense – Lawyers may contest the authenticity of the evidence obtained, including blood tests or
  • Breathalyzer tests – Mistakes or lack of due diligence during acquiring or handling evidence provide grounds to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
  • Investigating Police Procedures – Your charges can be dismissed if law enforcement infringes on your rights during the investigation and arrest.

What Should I Do if I Have Been Arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter?

If you have been taken into custody for vehicular manslaughter in Aiken, SC, ensure you know your Miranda rights and demand to call your lawyer immediately. Do not admit to anything or talk with law enforcement until your attorney arrives.

A qualified criminal defense lawyer in Aiken can ensure your rights are defended and help guide you through complex criminal law proceedings in South Carolina.

With a solid defense, you may be able to get the case entirely dismissed and protect your future and reputation.

Our Approach to Vehicular Manslaughter Defense

Our legal team at JJWLS know that mistakes happen, and you may have inadvertently been the cause of another person’s death while behind the wheel. We do not judge our clients and actually take a proactive approach to vehicular manslaughter defense.

Comprehensive Case Assessment

Following an accident, police are required to write an accident report of the incident. We will do a deep delve into the details of your case. This will entail scrutinizing evidence, interviewing witnesses, getting expert testimony, and pinpointing potential loopholes in the prosecution’s case.

Strategic Defense Strategies

We provide a client-centered and strategic defense to get the vehicular manslaughter charges lessened or dismissed. We will challenge the evidence, and witness statements, analyze accident reconstruction reports, and develop legal strategies specific to your vehicular manslaughter case.

Consult With a Seasoned Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyer in Aiken, SC Today

Given the severity of vehicular manslaughter charges and their harsh consequences in South Carolina, it will be in your interest to enlist a competent criminal defense attorney immediately.

Our experienced and fearless legal team at JJWLS can help by reviewing your case and using their wealth of knowledge to defend your rights. If you are facing vehicular manslaughter charges in Aiken, SC, please call us at (803) 649-5338 to arrange a FREE initial consultation.