If a person causes a fatality due to a traffic incident, the police will investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident. If appropriate, the driver could face criminal charges such as Manslaughter I, Manslaughter II, or Criminally Negligent Homicide. These crimes are extremely serious and require the help of an experienced Portland defense law firm to assist in your defense. If convicted, a person could face a substantial amount of time in jail.
In order for criminal charges to be filed, there must be some act of recklessness or negligence on the part of the defendant. Just the fact that an accident occurred is not enough to charge someone. For example, if weather conditions caused a person to skid out, strike another driver, and cause death, that action would not necessarily lead to charges (assuming the person was driving at or under the speed limit and was otherwise unimpaired).
Most of the time, these charges stem from DUII, reckless driving, or some other criminal violation behind the wheel. An example might be two cars street racing, leading to an accident that caused a fatality. Because street racing shows a reckless disregard for human life, the driver could face charges of Manslaughter I.
Because Manslaughter I and II are both Measure 11 crimes, the face strict mandatory sentencing. Manslaughter I carries a minimum punishment of 10 years in prison, while Manslaughter II brings 75 month sentence at minimum. Because criminal negligent homicide is not a Measure 11 crime, it does not carry a mandatory minimum, but it still is extremely serious. In Oregon, a conviction of this crime is a Class B felony.
An experienced Portland criminal law firm can examine the circumstances surrounding your accident and work to achieve the best outcome possible for your case. Because Manslaughter I and II both carry extremely serious mandatory minimum sentences, a defendant needs to be sure they have an experienced attorney at their side.
At Kroll & Johnson, we have helped many defendants charged with vehicular homicide. We know these are life-changing charges and we will do everything possible to achieve successful results for your charges. For a free consultation with a defense attorney, contact Kroll & Johnson right away.