Causing the death of another individual is not a matter that Maryland criminal courts treat lightly, even if it occurred by accident. The Maryland Code of Criminal Law has several statutes pertaining to vehicular manslaughter, which may make it difficult to understand the charges against you. It is in your best interest to seek the help of a Baltimore vehicular manslaughter attorney to investigate your case and protect your rights.
Generally, statutes pertaining to negligent manslaughter by vehicle or negligent homicide by motor vehicle refer to the crime of killing a person through the reckless operation of a vehicle. The two main statutes defining vehicular in Maryland are §2-209 Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel (gross negligence) and §2-210 Manslaughter by vehicle or vessel (criminal negligence).
To convict a person on this charge, the state must show that the defendant operated a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner. Criminal negligence is defined in the statute as a “deviation from the standard of care” which a reasonable person would exercise.
Although the driver did not intend to cause the death of an individual due to his driving behavior, he failed to take reasonable care behind the wheel and created a substantial risk, which resulted in a fatality. Penalties for a conviction may include:
DIsplaying gross negligence behind the wheel leads to a more severe charge of vehicular manslaughter. Gross negligence involves a voluntary disregard for the standard of care, which differs from failing to take care. The state must show that the defendant knew a fatality was a likely consequence of his actions, but disregarded the risk and acted negligently regardless. Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered an example of gross negligence in Maryland.
A conviction for vehicular manslaughter by gross negligence may lead to:
If you find yourself facing charges for vehicular manslaughter in Baltimore, do not hesitate to seek quality legal counsel. A conviction for vehicular manslaughter will result in significant penalties that can alter the course of your future.
Traffic attorney Hillel Traub of The Law Office of Hillel Traub served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and has spent the last 20 years helping Baltimore residents obtain favorable results for a number of violations, including vehicular manslaughter. Call 410-580-1100 for a free consultation.