LOUISIANA VEHICULAR HOMICIDE LAWYER
Criminal Defense Attorney for Vehicular Homicide Charges in Shreveport, Bossier City, and the Surrounding Areas
When someone decides to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while under the influence, they put themselves and others at risk of suffering great bodily harm. Even more tragically, one bad decision, like driving under the influence, can end somebody else’s life.
Killing another human being is one of the most serious offenses anyone can commit, and the consequences can be just as serious. Even without intent to kill, a charge like vehicular manslaughter in Louisiana can put a felony on your record and land you in prison for up to 30 years.
Vehicular homicide is a very serious charge that requires strong criminal defense. These cases not only require an in-depth knowledge of Louisiana law, but they also require a good deal of experience in trying DWI cases. It’s important that those accused of vehicular manslaughter find a good criminal defense attorney to receive the best possible outcome for their case.
If you have been accused of vehicular homicide in Louisiana, call Shreveport-Bossier City criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis. The Law Offices of Michael J. Vergis have served the residents of North Louisiana with expert legal counsel for over 25 years and are prepared to take on your criminal case. Call us at (318) 698-3724 to discuss your charges today.
Legal Definition of Vehicular Homicide
A person may be charged with vehicular homicide if they kill another human being while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs, including prescription drugs. Louisiana law goes into specifics regarding what constitutes being “under the influence” of drugs and/or alcohol, but, in general, if you kill or cause great bodily harm to another person while driving, and police suspect that you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, you can be charged with vehicular homicide.
Louisiana RS 14:32.1
La R.S. §14:32.1 details what constitutes vehicular homicide in Louisiana:
Vehicular homicide is the killing of a human being caused proximately or caused directly by an offender engaged in the operation of, or in actual physical control of, any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other means of conveyance, whether or not the offender had the intent to cause death or great bodily harm, whenever any of the following conditions exists and such condition was a contributing factor to the killing:
(1) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages as determined by chemical tests administered under the provisions of R.S. 32:662.
(2) The operator’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.
(3) The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in R.S. 40:964.
(4) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
(5)(a) The operator is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription.
(b) It shall be an affirmative defense to any charge under this Paragraph pursuant to this Section that the label on the container of the prescription drug or the manufacturer’s package of the drug does not contain a warning against combining the medication with alcohol.
(6) The operator is under the influence of one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription and the influence is caused by the operator knowingly consuming quantities of the drug or drugs which substantially exceed the dosage prescribed by the physician or the dosage recommended by the manufacturer of the drug.
(7) The operator’s blood has any detectable amount of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, or IV as set forth in R.S. 40:964, or a metabolite of such controlled dangerous substance, that has not been medically ordered or prescribed for the individual.
Is Vehicular Homicide a Violent Crime?
Under certain circumstances, vehicular homicide can be classified as a crime of violence. If the operator’s blood alcohol concentration was over 0.20 percent at the time of the accident and they are convicted of vehicular homicide, it will be classified as a violent felony charge, rather than just a felony charge. Violent crimes are not eligible for expungement in Louisiana, meaning the charges may stay on your record forever.
If you have been accused of killing someone while driving under the influence of alcohol, Bossier City criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis can help defend you. Call (318) 698-3724 today to schedule your initial consultation.
What are the Penalties for Vehicular Homicide in Louisiana?
If someone is convicted of vehicular homicide, they can face a fine of anywhere between $2,000 and $15,000 and can be imprisoned for no less than five years and no more than thirty years. Normally, the first three years of their sentence must be served without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension. However, if the person convicted has a BAC of 0.15 percent, or if they have been previously convicted of DUI, then they have to serve the first five years of their sentence without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension.
Additionally, any person arrested for vehicular homicide will have their license suspended for one year without the benefit of a hardship license. If they are found guilty, they will have their license suspended for two years following their release from prison. They will also have to attend mandatory driver improvement courses, which must include railroad-grade crossing safety training.
Vehicular homicide is a felony charge in Louisiana, which can stay on your criminal record permanently. A felony charge can also strip you of your right to vote and can make it difficult for you to seek employment, secure housing, and receive loans, among other things. Don’t throw your future away: an experienced criminal defense law firm can help ensure you receive the best outcome for your case.
How Louisiana Vehicular Homicide Defense Attorney Michael J. Vergis Can Help
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (including prescription medications and schedule I, II, III, and IV controlled substances) can put you and others at risk of injury. If you do harm someone while driving intoxicated, you could be charged with a felony, which can stay on your record for life.
If you have been accused of vehicular homicide in Louisiana, call Bossier/Shreveport criminal defense attorney Michael J. Vergis today. With years of experience in the Louisiana criminal justice system, he can help defend you and protect your freedom. Call (318) 698-3724 or contact us online and receive a free consultation regarding your vehicular homicide case.