Fatal drunk driving accidents in Pennsylvania represent some of the most serious DUI charges we handle at our Scranton law firm, Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. If you have been charged with DUI in connection with the death of someone else, contact our law firm immediately.
Serving the legal needs of Northeastern Pennsylvania since 1962, our law firm thoroughly understands Pennsylvania’s DUI laws and the consequences of a DUI conviction. We have the experience and resources needed to get the results for clients facing some of the most serious impaired driving charges.
We want to hear from you directly. That way, we can offer you honest advice and explain all the legal options available to you. We understand how overwhelmed and confused you might be after such a traumatic event. That’s why we want to help.
What is Vehicular Homicide?
Vehicular homicide is a legal term that refers to the death of someone due to the actions of another driver. Prosecutors often charge someone with vehicular homicide in Pennsylvania if the driver operated the vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner. This includes drivers under the influence of alcohol who cause fatal car accidents.
Law enforcement officials focus on four factors when prosecuting a vehicular homicide case:
- Whether the driver acted recklessly;
- Whether the driver actually caused the death of the other person;
- Whether the death occurred during the traffic violation; and
- Whether the violation of Pennsylvania law resulted in a person’s death.
In 2019, the Keystone State reported 258 driver and passenger fatalities in alcohol-related crashes.
What are the consequences of a fatal drunk driving accident in Pennsylvania?
Penalties vary widely for vehicular homicide involving a drunk driver in Pennsylvania. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the driver responsible for causing the crash could spend up to 10 years in jail. In some circumstances, the offense will carry a mandatory minimum three-year state prison sentence.
If you already have DUI charges on your record, the minimum sentence for vehicular homicide in Pennsylvania is increased by five years. For repeat offenders, this increases further to an additional seven years per death caused.
Judges presiding over such cases often take a wide range of factors into consideration when determining the penalty for a fatal DUI accident. In fact, you could face felony charges for vehicular homicide. That’s why it’s essential that you have an experienced DUI defense lawyer investigating your case and standing up for your rights.
What are other types of DUI accidents?
Fatal DUI accidents represent the most serious drunk driving cases we handle at our law firm. Our highly skilled attorneys also represent clients facing charges related to other types of DUI accidents, including:
- DUI injury accidents
- Uninsured drunk driver accidents
- Underinsured drunk driver accidents
- DUI accidents involving children
- Underage DUI accidents
- Other impaired driving accidents
“How can a DUI defense attorney help me with my vehicular homicide case?”
If you are represented by our firm, we will work closely with you to build the strongest legal case possible. This starts with taking the time to listen to you and learn about the details of your accident. We will then explain all the legal options available to you. That way, you can make an informed decision about what legal strategy you think we should pursue on your behalf.
Once you have decided what you want us to do for you, we will aggressively investigate your accident. This includes carefully reviewing your accident report, medical records and other official documents associated with the crash. We will review the external events which occurred surrounding the death including any potential negligence or reckless behavior by the third party.
Every detail matters in such high-stake criminal investigations. That’s why the attorneys at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano are eager to meet with you and get straight to work on your case. Schedule a free case evaluation today by calling (570) 348-0776.