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What are the elements for a charge of vehicle homicide?

A charge of vehicular manslaughter in California is often the result of a fatal accident involving a drunk driver. It can also be the result of a driver who acted in a reckless manner that led to the accident.

The elements of the crime of vehicular manslaughter are:

-- That the person charged,

-- While in the state of Colorado,

-- Drove or operated a motor vehicle

-- In a manner that was reckless or

-- While under the influence of one or more drugs, alcohol or a combination of both,

-- And that this conduct was the cause

-- Of someone else's death.

When it comes to determining if the defendant was under the influence of alcohol, the following applies:

-- If the defendant had a blood alcohol content of .05 percent or lower, the defendant shall be presumed not to be under the influence of alcohol.

-- If the defendant's BAC was between .05 and .08 percent, that evidence may be considered with other evidence to determine if the defendant was under the influence.

-- If the defendant's BAC was .08 percent or higher, it is inferred that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol.

The penalties for vehicular manslaughter are severe and can include up to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 if it is proven that the defendant was under the influence of one or more drugs and/or alcohol. This is for a Class 3 felony. If the defendant is charged with vehicular manslaughter for reckless driving, then it is a Class 4 felony and the possible penalties include up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

If you or someone you love is facing charges for vehicular manslaughter, it is important to begin your defense as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you determine the strongest defense for your case and any legal options you may have.

Source: courts.state.co.us, "3-1:13 Vehicular Homicide," accessed Jan. 18, 2017

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