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Vehicular Manslaughter in Maryland

Maryland law is strict when it comes to penalties for vehicular manslaughter, especially when committed while under the influence of alcohol. The most severe penalties are reserved for a drunk driver who causes someone else’s death. A person who is driving under the influence and unintentionally kills someone else can be charged with vehicular manslaughter per Maryland Criminal Code Section 2-209.

It is important that if you are charged with vehicular manslaughter and/or a DUI, you speak with a skilled criminal attorney in Maryland.

Vehicular Manslaughter in Maryland

There are two types of vehicular manslaughter in Maryland. The first is vehicular manslaughter by criminal negligence. To get a conviction under this charge, the prosecution has to show that the defendant operated a vehicle in a way that was “criminally negligent.” The standard to be found criminally negligent is acting in a manner that is a deviation from the normal standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person in the same situation. Someone who opted to talk or text on a cell phone while driving did not intend to cause someone else’s death, but his or her actions certainly presented a risk to others on the road.

The second type of vehicular manslaughter is by gross negligence. In this scenario, the prosecution has to show the driver was “grossly negligent.” This is a more serious charge than criminal negligence. In the case of gross negligence, the driver voluntarily disregarded a reasonable standard of care and knew there was a potential for placing other people in grave danger. These are situations, like driving under the influence, in which the offender knows their actions could have fatal results, but chooses to disregard the risks and continue to get behind the wheel.

Preparing a Defense to Vehicular Manslaughter

If you are charged with vehicular manslaughter, especially if you were driving under the influence, it is imperative that you retain the best criminal defense attorney. The potential penalties can range from up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine for criminally negligent vehicular manslaughter to up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine for grossly negligent vehicular manslaughter. If there was a DUI involved, the law allows for an additional three to five years in prison.

A skilled criminal attorney is familiar with the elements that the state’s prosecutor must prove in order to obtain a conviction. At the Law Office of Robert R. Castro, we will mount a vigorous defense in an attempt to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely.

Long Lasting Consequences of Legal Convictions

It is important to understand that fighting the charges is not just about reducing prison time at the sentencing hearing; it is also about looking out for the long-term consequences a criminal conviction can have.

Criminal convictions can affect you for years to come. From driver’s license suspensions to problems renting an apartment or applying for employment or professional licenses, your conviction can cause you serious lie challenges and you should take it seriously.

Retaining a Charles County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter,or some other crime in Maryland, contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro at 301-705-5137 to schedule a consultation right away.