In Connecticut and throughout the United States, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, illegal drugs, or other substances that impair one’s ability to drive safely. An arrest and conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in a variety of consequences, including fines, jail time, community service, participation in diversionary programs, and/or the requirement to use an alcohol interlock device in one’s vehicle. However, the penalties can become much more severe if a person was killed in a collision that occurred while you were driving under the influence. While this offense is commonly known as “vehicular homicide,” in Connecticut, it is referred to as “manslaughter with a motor vehicle.”
Second-Degree Manslaughter With a Motor Vehicle
According to Connecticut law, you can be charged with manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle if you are operating a vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and as a result, you cause the death of another person. Manslaughter charges involve a degree of recklessness or negligence. Basic second-degree manslaughter charges require you to have “recklessly caused the death of another person.” The same principle applies to manslaughter with a motor vehicle charges, but in these cases, the element of driving while intoxicated will also be considered.
Penalties for Second-Degree Manslaughter With a Motor Vehicle
Manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle is a Class C felony. Under Connecticut law, Class C felony convictions can result in 1 to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, or a combination of both. Because of the intoxication aspect of these charges, a conviction will also result in a mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension and the requirement that an ignition interlock device be installed on your vehicle for at least two years following the reinstatement of your driving privileges.
You Need Immediate Help From a Hartford, CT DUI Defense Attorney
Since second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle is a felony offense, the charges and potential penalties are very serious. In these cases, you need a strong defense attorney who can help you understand how to minimize the consequences you may face. Call a Connecticut criminal defense lawyer today to learn about your options. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we have more than 20 years of experience handling criminal cases at both the state and federal level, including those involving injury or death. Give our office a call at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation today.