What Happens When A Virginia DUI Results In A Fatality?
The Virginia Criminal Code features stringent laws against and penalties for driving under the influence (DUI). Any person who operates a motor vehicle while impaired in Virginia can face serious consequences, including jail or prison time and criminal fines.
On top of the standard DUI laws and penalties in Virginia, there is also a prohibition against involuntary manslaughter. This charge typically applies when a person commits DUI and also causes a fatality.
How Does Virginia Define & Punish DUI?
The state laws against DUI appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-266. Under this section, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of substances.
Virginia standards require safety and care when driving. When a person consumes alcohol or other substances — and thereby loses their capability to operate a motor vehicle safely — DUI charges are likely to follow.
The state punishment for DUI appears at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270. Under this section, Virginia penalties for DUI largely depend upon on the number of previous violations, if any, as outlined below:
- First Violation — DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum of $250 in criminal fines and, in some cases, five to 10 days in jail.
- Second Violation (in 5-10 years) — DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum of $500 in criminal fines and 10 to 20 days in jail.
- Third Violation (in 5-10 years) — DUI is a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines and three to six months in prison.
- Fourth or Subsequent Violation (in 10 years) — DUI is a Class 6 felony with a mandatory minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines and 12 months in prison.
How Does Virginia Define & Punish Involuntary Manslaughter?
The state laws against involuntary manslaughter appear at Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36.1. Under this section, it is unlawful to commit DUI and, at the same time, unintentionally cause the death of a person.
Under Virginia law, involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony. Upon conviction for this offense, the punishment can include criminal fines up to $2,500, a prison sentence of one to 10 years, and driver’s license revocation.
Section 36.1 also furnishes the state laws against aggravated involuntary manslaughter. The aggravated version of this offense applies when a perpetrator demonstrates a reckless disregard for human life.
Under Virginia law, aggravated involuntary manslaughter is a felony crime. Upon conviction for this offense, the punishment can include criminal fines, a prison sentence of one to 20 years, and driver’s license revocation.
Contact Us Today for Help
If you need help with your case, contact the Virginia DUI defense attorneys at Simms Showers LLP. We are prepared to assist you today.