If a person was killed during a traffic incident, the police and prosecutors will examine the case to see if charges of vehicular homicide are appropriate. Assuming the death was not caused intentionally (which would be Murder), then the crime can be charged as Manslaughter in the 1st or 2nd Degree, or as Criminally Negligent Homicide.
Man I requires that the driver act recklessly with an extreme indifference to human life, Man II requires only a reckless action, and Criminally Negligent Homicide requires only negligence, as the title might suggest.
Man I and Man II are both Measure 11 crimes. Man I carries 10 years in prison, and Man II carries 75 months. Criminally Negligent Homicide falls outside of Measure 11.
Most, though not all, vehicular homicide cases revolve around accusations of DUII, Reckless Driving, or other unlawful traffic behavior, such as speed racing. If a person is found guilty of any level of vehicular homicide, they face substantial prison time and likely a lifetime loss of driving privileges.
The defenses to these types of crimes are often very technical. If the case revolves around a DUII, then disproving the DUII case can mean that you were not acting negligently or recklessly, and are therefore not guilty. Even if you were under the influence at the time, it may be that the other driver was at fault for the accident, and you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. We often employ traffic safety experts, accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses in an attempt to protect our clients from these charges.
Time is of the essence in these cases, as evidence, especially evidence at the crash scene, often dissipates or disappears. The sooner you can get an experienced attorney involved, the better.
Edward Kroll is a former prosecutor who understands how to defend serious traffic crimes, including vehicular homicide. If you or a loved is facing such charges, contact Portland manslaughter defense lawyer Edward Kroll today for a free and confidential consultation, so we can prepare your defense.