The Difference Between Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Homicide, and Vehicular Manslaughter
Under Ohio law, there are severe penalties for causing the death of a person or the unlawful termination of a pregnancy while operating or participating in the operation of a motor vehicle, motorcycle, snowmobile, locomotive, watercraft, or aircraft.
The offenses are split into three major categories;
- Aggravated vehicular homicide:
- When the death occurs as the proximate result of operating vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These offenses are considered second degree felonies and are subject to a mandatory prison term.
- When the death occurs because a suspect acted recklessly, or committed a reckless operation offense in a construction zone
- Vehicular homicide: When the death occurs because a suspect acted negligently, or as a result of committing a speeding offense in a construction zone. This is a felony of the fourth degree.
- Vehicular manslaughter: When the death occurred as a result of the suspect committing a minor misdemeanor. This is considered a second degree misdemeanor.
Pleading guilty to a charge that can be fought can have disastrous consequences in the future. Aggravated vehicular homicide committed in conjunction with operating a vehicle, watercraft or aircraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs is elevated to a first degree felony if certain circumstances occur, such as;
- Where a person has been convicted or plead guilty to 3 or more prior violations of operating a vehicle, watercraft, aircraft under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs within the past six years
- Where a person has been convicted or plead guilty to 3 or more aggravated vehicular homicides involving alcohol or drugs in the previous 6 years
- Where a person has been convicted or plead guilty to 3 or more aggravated vehicular assaults in the previous 6 years
- Any combination of aggravating circumstances
If you have been accused of any type of crime, you need an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney who can provide zealous representation.