In Ohio, vehicular homicide involves causing the death of another human being or the unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy. This is different from a charge of murder because it assumes the offender did not intend to kill another person, but in the course of operating a vehicle and as a result of the offender’s actions, another person died.
When certain circumstances exist, vehicular homicide can become aggravated vehicular homicide. When a crime is aggravated, the law calls for harsh penalties like mandatory prison terms and lengthy or lifetime license suspensions.
If the aggravated vehicular homicide occurs while recklessly operating a motor vehicle, it is a third degree felony, includes a prison term of one year to five years, mandatory license suspension for three years to life. Reckless operation of a motor vehicle can include weaving in and out of traffic, or speeding in excess of 25 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Another potential aggravating factor was entered into Ohio law in 2004. A driver who causes someone’s death while operating a vehicle recklessly in a construction zone may face aggravated vehicular homicide charges. This same law increased prison sentences in the aggravated category for anyone causing the death of a law enforcement officer.
If you are operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol and you cause the death of another as a result of you driving while intoxicated, you may be found guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide. This is a felony of the second degree and carries a mandatory prison term between 2 to 8 years and a lifetime license suspension. If you did not have a license or your license was suspended at the time, aggravated vehicular homicide is a felony of the first degree carrying a mandatory prison term of 3 to 11 years and a lifetime license suspension.
Depending on your prior record for driving under the influence, the mandatory prison term will become 10 to 15 years if you have 3 or more OVIs in the last 6 years.
If you are being accused of aggravated vehicular homicide, you need the representation of a skilled and trusted attorney to help you through this. This is a very serious charge and you need the assistance of a trusted law firm. To help make sure your rights are protected and you have the best opportunity for a positive outcome, call The Maher Law Firm today for a free consultation at (614) 205-2208 or contact us online.