What Happens if Your DUI Leads to Someone’s Death?
If you are charged with a DUI in Kansas, it can be a confusing and difficult situation. If someone dies because of your reckless driving and actions, a bad situation is made worse. Not only are deep emotions involved, but the charges you face increase significantly with this serious incident.
Along with the consequences imposed by the law, if you are responsible for someone’s death, you may experience an array of emotions from fear and guilt, to sadness and even anger. While this is true, it is crucial to take action, hire an attorney, and understand the potential consequences that you are facing.
DUI Resulting in Death: What to Know
In Kansas, there are three laws where a driver can be charged with and held responsible for another person’s death while operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Aggravated Battery and DUI
This law applies strict liability to a DUI injury case. It could be the initial charge if injuries are so severe that someone is on life support or in critical care. If you are charged with this, the prosecution may not be required to prove what resulted in the bodily injuries. It could be enough to prove you were impaired and an accident resulting in serious bodily injuries took place. The conviction of aggravated battery while DUI is considered a Level 7 Person Felony.
Vehicular homicide in Kansas is the killing of a person by a vehicle, motorboat, or airplane that causes an unreasonable risk of an injury to the person or the property of someone else. It constitutes a material deviation from what is considered the standard of care that a reasonable person would use when in a similar situation.
What this means is that your conduct was more than just ordinary negligence but not quite gross negligence. This is considered a gray area when it comes to negligence and prosecutors are likely going to focus on your intoxication to meet the standard. If you are charged with vehicular homicide, it is a Class A Person Misdemeanor.
This is when you take another person’s life in a “reckless” manner while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is considered the most severe DUI causing death charge. As a result, it is classified by the court system as a Level 4 Person Felony offense.
Defending Your DUI Involving Death Case
There are several defenses available to all the charges mentioned above. There are also various methods you can use to help reduce the charges. If loss of life occurs, prosecutors are not very likely to offer you a favorable plea bargain, which is why hiring a criminal defense attorney for help with your case is highly recommended. They will have experience in complex legal situations, like the charges that you are facing. Understanding your rights and building a strong defense is key in these situations.
If you are looking for an experienced lawyer in Kansas City to handle your DUI charge, contact Kitchin Law Firm today.