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Deadly Virginia Crash Leads to DUI & Involuntary Manslaughter Charges


A Virginia man faces criminal charges for DUI and involuntary manslaughter after allegedly causing a fatal crash in Roanoke, according to an article by NBC affiliate WSIS.

On January 14, local law enforcement responded to reports of a hit-and-run incident at approximately 9:30 p.m. When officers arrived at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Gainsboro Road NW, they discovered a three-vehicle accident.

As a result of this incident, one victim died and another sustained severe injuries. Based on their initial investigation, law enforcement arrested the Virginia man and charged him with DUI and involuntary manslaughter.

In order to comprehend the precise nature of these charges, and the potential criminal penalties, the following sections will survey several applicable statutes in Virginia.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-266 makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of substances. Whenever a person loses the capacity to drive safely due to these substances, it can qualify as DUI under Virginia law.

Code Section 18.2-270 outlines the penalty structure for DUI offenses. Under this section, any person who commits a first or second DUI is ordinarily guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. Upon conviction, the offender usually faces five to 20 days in jail, as well as $250 to $500 in criminal fines.

Any person who commits a third, fourth, or subsequent DUI is typically guilty of a Class 6 felony in Virginia. Upon conviction, the offender normally faces 90 days to six months in prison, as well as a minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines.

On top of the aforementioned criminal penalties, Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271 also requires driver’s license suspension for all DUI offenses. In these situations, the DUI offender will generally face a suspension period between 12 and 36 months.  For certain repeat offenders, though, permanent revocation of driving privileges is possible.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36.1 defines the term involuntary manslaughter. In this case, a person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter if they commit DUI and cause the death of another person at the same time.

Code Section 18.2-36 supplies the penalty structure for involuntary manslaughter offenses. Under this section, involuntary manslaughter is punishable as a Class 5 felony. An offender normally faces one to 10 years in prison and a maximum of $2,500 in criminal fines.

In more extreme cases, it is possible to face charges for aggravated involuntary manslaughter in Virginia. The aggravated version of this offense applies when the offender demonstrates a reckless disregard for human life.

Aggravated involuntary manslaughter is punishable as a felony crime. Upon conviction, the offender normally faces one to 20 years in prison, as well as criminal fines.

Let Us Help You Today

If you need legal assistance with criminal charges for DUI or involuntary manslaughter in Virginia, it can be decidedly helpful to reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney. The Leesburg DUI & DWI attorneys at Simms Showers LLP can assist you today. Contact us for a consultation.



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