New York Vehicular Homicide Defense Attorney
We’ve created a Vehicular Offense team that works solely in the area of the Defense of Serious Vehicular Crimes, which include Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Manslaughter, and Vehicular Homicide.
We’ve engaged in a comprehensive study of, and has developed an understanding of, forensic toxicology, forensic blood testing, the Science of Accident Reconstruction, Forensic Sobriety Assessment, Medicolegal Aspects of Alcohol, Medicolegal Aspects of Drugs, Forensic Aspects of Driver Perception and Response, and Forensic Vision as it applies to Highway Safety.
We have taken a particular interest in death and serious injury cases because it is an area of the law where the New York State Legislature and New York courts define the line between civil liability and criminal liability.
This line defines when an accident is merely an unfortunate tragic occurrence, at least in some circumstances, and when it is a criminal event that will have drastic consequences on the offending individual’s life if handled incorrectly.
This line is often defined by the presence or absence of very minute facts.
For example, a speeding ticket or other violation may turn an accident involving a serious injury or death that would otherwise not be punishable as a crime in a case where an individual could be charged with several serious felony offenses and could serve many years in state prison, even if this individual had no prior criminal record.
In sum, Vehicular Homicide Law is an area of the law that differentiates between:
1) An unfortunate tragic accident resulting in death (to which no criminal liability attaches);
2) A tragic accident to which the most serious criminal liability will attach, solely because the individual involved was intoxicated at the time that accident occurs.
Additionally, the line between an unfortunate accident and a serious crime such as vehicular homicide can hinge on very small details that generally are determined by applying the following two areas of science:
1) Forensic Toxicology (utilized to determine if the driver’s ability to drive was impaired by alcohol or drugs, or some combination of the two);
2) Accident Reconstruction (utilized to determine who caused the accident, and if the accident could have been avoided).
For these reasons, it is imperative that the attorney or attorneys handling a case concerning Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Manslaughter, or Vehicular Assault have the experience and understanding of the science utilized in each of these disciplines so that they can effectively test the competency of the evidence that will be used against you.
Without appropriate legal representation by an attorney who understands and has previously worked with these two areas of science, an individual charged with these crimes is, to a large degree, throwing caution to the wind, and gambling with their own life (likely to save a few thousand dollars).
If you are charged with a crime of this magnitude, it’s important that you have a team of attorneys who are immersed daily in this very complicated area of law and science.
The result is plain: for those charged with one or more of these serious offenses, Nave DWI Defense Attorneys is one of, if not the best, Vehicular Homicide, Manslaughter and Vehicular Assault teams in the nation.
Let our team of New York Vehicular Homicide lawyers protect your rights today.
Vehicular Homicide Laws in Relation to Bicyclist Victims
Drinking alcohol and driving presents a special hazard when drivers of automobiles share the road with bicyclists. When a drunk driver injures or kills a bicyclist with his or her vehicle, prosecutors may charge the driver under vehicular homicide laws in addition to charges under DWI laws.
Just this past weekend, an Alabama man found himself in such a position. Fox10TV.com reports that just before midnight on Saturday, a 28-year-old man struck a 59-year-old bicycle rider. A bystander noted that she believed the driver was speeding because the bicyclist rolled on the top of the hood after he was hit. She also noted that the bicyclist was drug underneath the car to the location at which he died. The location of the accident is not well-lit and there are no bicycle lanes, the report noted. However, officers charged the driver with violating DWI laws and vehicular homicide. This was the driver’s second DWI charge since the year 2006.
Similarly, a particularly grisly DWI accident in which a bicyclist was hit and killed occurred in New York in August of last year. The Fairport East-Rochester Post reported that 23-year-old Megan Merkel hit a 40-year-old bicyclist with her car and killed her after her boyfriend had hit the bicyclist with his motorcycle. Ms. Merkel had attended a carnival that day and then partied into the night until 4:30 AM at a house party. At the house party, Ms. Merkel had drunk alcohol. After the house party, Ms. Merkel took several of the party guests back to her house to drink more alcohol. At some point, her boyfriend called her and asked her to pick him up. Ms. Merkel took several party guests in another friend’s car to a party in Penfield, New York to pick her boyfriend up. The group waited at the party for one hour for Ms. Merkel’s boyfriend to show up, then headed back to Ms. Merkel’s home, stopping to drop off one of the guests in the car. For reasons unknown, Ms. Merkel’s boyfriend followed her home on his motorcycle.
A witness stated that Ms. Merkel’s boyfriend was riding his motorcycle erratically, weaving around the car and doing stunts. While he was riding in this manner, he struck the bicyclist and threw her into the road, where she was hit by Ms. Merkel who could not brake in time. Ms. Merkel’s boyfriend was charged with manslaughter, and Ms. Merkel herself was charged with vehicular manslaughter.
The New York Penal Code on Homicide, Abortion and Other Offenses govern vehicular manslaughter offenses in New York. Section 125.12 governs vehicular manslaughter charges in the second degree. A driver may be charged with vehicular manslaughter in the second degree if he or she causes the death of another person while intoxicated, as defined under New York DWI laws. Vehicular manslaughter in the second degree is a Class “D” felony and is punishable by not more than seven years jail time and five years of probation and a fine between $2,000 and $10,000.
Under Section 125.13, a person is guilty of vehicular manslaughter in the first degree if he or she commits vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, plus has a .18 BAC; knows or has reason to know that his or her license is revoked or suspended based on violation of DWI laws or refusing to submit to chemical tests under the New York DWI Laws; has been convicted of violating New York DWI laws in the last ten years; causes the death of more than one person; or has multiple vehicular manslaughter charges. Vehicular manslaughter in the first degree is a Class “C” felony, with enhanced penalties.
The vehicular manslaughter laws in New York are quite detailed and every case is unique. If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter in the first or second degree, or for violating DWI laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney. Call the experienced attorneys at Nave DWI Defense Attorneys today for a confidential consultation at 1-866-792-7800.
Disclaimer: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.