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What are the consequences of vehicular manslaughter in New York?

Last week, we discussed the case of the man who was allegedly drunk when he slammed into a snowplow. That accident claimed the life of the man's passenger. That post might have some of our readers wondering about charges like vehicular manslaughter. The answers to some common questions about vehicular manslaughter might shock some of our New York readers.

Can a person who kills someone in a drunk driving accident be incarcerated?

It is possible for a person who kills someone in a drunk driving crash to spend up to 15 years in prison. The possible sentence depends on the blood alcohol concentration of the driver when the accident occurs. In the case of someone with a BAC of more than .18 percent, the charge can be vehicular manslaughter in the first degree. That carries up to 15 years in prison. A lower BAC is vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, which has a maximum incarceration sentence of 7 years.

Are there financial consequences in a vehicular manslaughter case?

A person who is convicted of vehicular manslaughter in the first degree faces a fine of up to $15,000. A person who is convicted of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree faces a fine of up to $5,000. Of course, those aren't only the criminal penalties that are possible.

As you can see, vehicular manslaughter carries serious penalties in New York. With that in mind, anyone who is facing a first-degree or second-degree charges should seek legal assistance as soon possible to ensure that there is ample time to evaluate the case and plan a defense strategy.

Source: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, "Penalties for Drunk Driving Vehicular Homicide" accessed Feb. 27, 2015

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