In New York, there are different charges that you could face if you are driving while under the influence and end up harming another person. Today, we will take a specific look at involuntary manslaughter, what it means, and how it differs from other charges.
FindLaw defines involuntary manslaughter as criminal recklessness or negligence that results in unintentional death. In other words, two main components need to be present for a death to be classified as involuntary manslaughter. First, the actions leading up to the death must have been negligent or reckless. Generally speaking, any DUI-related incident will automatically fall into this category due to the reckless nature of driving while under the influence of a substance.
The second part of the definition requires the examination of the driver's intention. In many DUI-related incidents, the person did not set out with the intention of physically harming or killing another individual. There is no motive to do harm, and thus the harm that occurs is not intended. This differs from voluntary manslaughter, in which there is an intention to do harm. In some states, if involuntary manslaughter occurs in a vehicle, it has its own classification of vehicular manslaughter.
While involuntary manslaughter is considered a less severe crime than some other crimes related to the death of another individual, it is still incredibly serious. For this reason, many drivers facing these charges choose to have strong legal representation in court, as the outcome of a trial can impact your life for many years to come.