Virginia Man Pleads Guilty To DUI & Involuntary Manslaughter
Local authorities charged a Virginia man with driving under the influence (DUI) and involuntary manslaughter after a fatal crash, according to an article by WAVY.
The fatal crash in question occurred on Interstate 64 in March of 2020. The Virginia man apparently sent his vehicle airborne and caused the death of a survey crew member. The crew member was working on the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel Expansion Project and died on impact.
Police investigated the incident for approximately two months before charging the Virginia man with DUI and involuntary manslaughter. The case never made it to trial: The Virginia man recently pleaded guilty and now awaits a sentencing hearing on July 30.
In order to understand the possible criminal punishments that await this man, it will be helpful to review several Virginia statutes that address both DUI and involuntary manslaughter offenses.
Virginia Punishment for DUI
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270 provides the state punishment for DUI. Under this section, DUI is typically charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor on the first or second offense. If convicted for this class of misdemeanor, the maximum Virginia punishment includes 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
On the other hand, a third or subsequent DUI offense is usually charged as a Class 6 felony. If convicted for this class of felony, the Virginia punishment includes 12 months to 5 years in prison and up to $2,500 in criminal fines.
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271 mandates driver’s license suspension or revocation for DUI offenses. Under this section:
- First DUI — A first-offense DUI includes 12 months of driver’s license suspension;
- Second DUI — A second-offense DUI includes 36 months of driver’s license revocation; and
- Third or Subsequent DUI — A third-offense DUI or more includes indefinite revocation of driving privileges.
Virginia Punishment for Involuntary Manslaughter
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36.1 prohibits any person from committing DUI and, in the process, unintentionally causing the death of a victim. If the alleged offender acts in a gross or wanton fashion, however, it qualifies as aggravated involuntary manslaughter.
The punishment for involuntary manslaughter appears at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36. Under this section, involuntary manslaughter is generally charged as a Class 5 felony. If convicted for this class of felony, the Virginia punishment includes 12 months to 10 years in prison and up to $2,500 in criminal fines.
Aggravated involuntary manslaughter is also ordinarily charged as a felony, but the maximum punishment doubles. If convicted for aggravated involuntary manslaughter, the Virginia punishment includes a prison sentence between 12 months and 20 years.
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