The Hive Law

What Is Unintentional Vehicular Manslaughter? (How Much Jail Time You’ll Get)

What Is Unintentional Vehicular Manslaughter - Unintentional Vehicular Manslaughter Sentences

What is unintentional vehicular manslaughter? 

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • what unintentional vehicular manslaughter is
  • how a judge defines voluntary vs involuntary vs unintentional
  • how much time you’ll spend in jail
  • how much you’ll pay in fines

Let’s dig in. 

Table of Contents

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Key Points About Unintentional Vehicular Manslaughter

  • Unintentional vehicular manslaughter is causing injuries that lead to someone’s death in a car accident. 
  • The most common charge is a felony. 
  • You can get up to $750,000 in fines and 30 years in prison. 
  • Up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines are the most common penalties.

What Is Vehicular Manslaughter?

Manslaughter is causing serious injuries that lead to the death of another person. 

Vehicular manslaughter is causing serious injuries in a car accident.

And those auto accident injuries lead to the death of anyone involved in the fatal accident.

You can commit vehicular manslaughter if you:

  • unintentionally cause someone else’s death in a motor vehicle
  • were committing a dangerous act that led to the death of a human being

These are accidental vehicle deaths that stem from severe bodily harm.

This article will focus on “unintentionally causing someone else’s death in a vehicle.”

Read More: What Are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-Degree Murders

What Is Unintentional Vehicular Manslaughter?

Unintentional vehicular manslaughter is when someone commits an unintentional act.

And that act causes injuries that lead to the death of another person.

Some examples of unintentional vehicular manslaughter are causing death while:

  • running a red light
  • exceeding the speed limit
  • not yielding the right of way
  • driving while distracted
  • driving with disregard for human life

Read More: How Long Do You Go To Jail For Murdering Someone

Unintentional Vehicular Manslaughter Sentences

Every state has its own unintentional vehicular manslaughter sentences and penalties. 

Unintentional vehicular manslaughter charges are the same as second-degree manslaughter.

This table shows you what the unintentional vehicular manslaughter charges are by state.

They show the maximum sentence (years in prison) and fines you’ll get in each state.

StateMax FinesYears In Prison
Alabama$15,0002-20 Years
Alaska$50,0000-10 Years
Arizona$150,0003-15 Years
Arkansas$10,0003-20 Years
California$10,0002-4 Years
Colorado$750,0004-12 Years
Connecticut$15,0000-15 Years
Delaware$25,0000-15 Years
Florida$10,0000-15 Years
Georgia$1,0001-5 Years
Hawaii$10,0000-10 Years
Idaho$5,0000-15 Years
Illinois$25,0003-14 Years
Indiana$10,0000-6 Years
Iowa$7,5000-5 Years
Kansas$500,0000-11 Years
Kentucky$10,0000-5 Years
Louisiana$2,0000-30 Years
Maine$20,0000-10 Years
Maryland$5,0000-10 Years
Massachusetts$25,0000-15 Years
Michigan$2,5000-15 Years
Minnesota$20,0000-10 Years
Mississippi$1,0000-10 Years
Missouri$10,0000-7 Years
Montana$50,0000-10 Years
Nebraska$10,0000-20 Years
Nevada$10,0000-20 Years
New Hampshire$25,0001-15 Years
New Jersey$15,0000-10 Years
New Mexico$5,0000-18 Years
New York$5,0000-7 Years
North Carolina$1,0000-15 Years
North Dakota$10,0000-10 Years
Ohio$50,0000-5 Years
Oklahoma$10,0000-10 Years
Oregon$50,0000-10 Years
Pennsylvania$10,0000-7 Years
Rhode Island$10,0000-30 Years
South Carolina$10,0000-25 Years
South Dakota$10,0000-25 Years
Tennessee$10,0000-15 Years
Texas$10,0002-20 Years
Utah$10,0000-15 Years
Vermont$25,0000-15 Years
Virginia$2,5001-10 Years
Washington$5,0000-10 Years
West Virginia$10,0000-5 Years
Wisconsin$25,0000-15 Years
Wyoming$50,0000-10 Years

But, we can look at what you’re likely facing. 

And note that these sentences are PER DEATH. 

Meaning if you kill 3 people, you’ll get 3 manslaughter charges. 

Some examples of unintentional vehicular manslaughter are causing death while:

  • running a red light or stop sign
  • exceeding the speed limit
  • not yielding the right of way
  • driving while distracted

These are considered ordinary negligence in law. 

Driving under the influence (DUI) will automatically turn these into first-degree manslaughter

Unintentional vehicular manslaughter will get you up to 15 years in prison.

  • California gives you up to 4 years in jail. 
  • Florida gives you up to 15 years in prison. 
  • Texas gives you up to 20 years in jail.

Depending on your state, fines can range from $1,000 up to $750,000. 

Some states will give you a misdemeanor charge. 

With a misdemeanor charge, you’ll spend time in county jail. 

While others will give you a felony charge

With a felony charge, you’ll spend time in federal prison.

You will also lose your driver’s license.

Your license suspension usually lasts while you’re in prison.

Also, note that unintentional vehicular manslaughter will remain on your criminal record.

You cannot expunge unintentional vehicular manslaughter.

Read More: Rights Police Don’t Want You To Know About

Is Unintentional Vehicular Manslaughter A Felony?

The most common unintentional vehicular manslaughter charge is a felony

But, an unintentional vehicular manslaughter can either be:

  • a felony 
  • a misdemeanor

Unintentional vehicular manslaughter charges depend on the state that you’re in. 

A judge can overrule your charges to make them first-degree. 

What Is Voluntary Vehicular Manslaughter?

Voluntary vehicular manslaughter is criminal homicide.

It’s when a driver commits intentional acts that lead to the death of another person.

It’s a type of criminal gross negligence, with a conscious disregard for the safety of others.

Some examples of voluntary vehicular manslaughter are causing death while:

  • overtaking and passing a school bus
  • sending text messages while driving
  • driving with gross negligence
  • reckless driving
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DWIs)
  • fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer 
  • hit and run
  • failure to yield the right of way to another vehicle or pedestrian
  • running a stop sign

Law enforcement needs to be able to prove without a reasonable doubt your intent.

An excellent criminal defense lawyer can defend you against vehicular manslaughter charges.

Read More: How Many Murders Go Unsolved

What Is Involuntary Vehicular Manslaughter?

Involuntary vehicular manslaughter is when someone commits an unintentional act.

And that act causes injuries that lead to the death of another person.

Some examples of involuntary vehicular manslaughter are causing death while:

  • running a red light
  • exceeding the speed limit
  • not yielding the right of way
  • driving while distracted
  • driving with disregard for human life

Are You Facing An Unintentional Vehicle Manslaughter Conviction?

If you are facing a conviction of unintentional vehicle manslaughter, fill out the form on this page.

Our criminal defense attorneys have the experience you need to defend your rights.

This way, you don’t:

  • get wrongfully convicted of vehicular homicide charges and the victim’s death
  • spend decades in jail needlessly for a simple traffic offense
  • never see your family or loved ones again
  • get wrongfully accused of a serious crime by police officers in an unlawful manner

You deserve a fair trial in the criminal justice system for manslaughter cases.

Our law firm can provide you with that.

Get your free consultation today for a free case evaluation.

Talk soon.

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