Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Levied After Fatal Crash in Virginia
A Virginia man faces criminal charges for aggravated involuntary manslaughter after allegedly causing a drunk driving fatality, according to an article by WTOP.
This incident occurred on Thursday, October 22nd in Lake Ridge, Virginia. The Virginia man was driving on Glenridge Drive and turned left onto Springwoods Drive and began driving the wrong direction. The Virginia man crashed head-on into a passenger vehicle that was traveling properly in the northbound lane.
As a result of this crash, the 32-year-old female driver of the passenger vehicle suffered life-threatening injuries, potentially due to the failure to wear a seat belt. Emergency personnel transported the female driver to a nearby medical facility. Despite immediate medical treatment, the female driver later died from her injuries.
Due to his alleged role in this incident, the authorities arrested the Virginia man and charged him with aggravated involuntary manslaughter. While this man awaits his court date on January 21st, it seems appropriate to review Virginia laws governing involuntary manslaughter.
What is the Definition of Involuntary Manslaughter in Virginia?
The punishment for involuntary manslaughter appears at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36.1. Under this section, involuntary manslaughter occurs when a driver commits DUI and also unintentionally causes the death of someone else.
It is vital to note that involuntary manslaughter requires unintentional action that causes a fatality. There are different criminal statutes to address the situation where the perpetrator acts intentionally and causes the death of another person.
In addition, Section 18.2-36.1 details the definition of aggravated involuntary manslaughter. Under this section, aggravated involuntary manslaughter applies when:
- A driver commits involuntary manslaughter; and
- Their conduct demonstrated a reckless disregard for human life.
What is the Punishment for Involuntary Manslaughter in Virginia?
The punishment for involuntary manslaughter appears at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36. Under this section, involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony. A conviction for this type of felony in Virginia is punishable by imprisonment for one to 10 years and criminal fines up to $2,500.
Section 18.2-36 also provides the punishment for aggravated involuntary manslaughter. Under this section, aggravated involuntary manslaughter is a felony crime. A conviction for this type of felony in Virginia is punishable by imprisonment for one to 20 years as well as criminal fines.
In addition to the criminal penalties explained above, both regular and aggravated involuntary manslaughter offenses include mandatory revocation of driving privileges. As detailed in Code of Virginia Section 46.2-391, the driver’s license of an involuntary manslaughter offender is permanently revoked. There is no guarantee of reinstatement.
Let Us Help You Today
If you have legal questions about DUI or involuntary manslaughter under Virginia law, it can be an complete game-changer to consult with an experienced Leesburg drunk driving attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP feature more than 140 years of combined legal experience, including proven capabilities defending against criminal charges like DUI and involuntary manslaughter. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.