New York residents who end up involved in a deadly crash may face one of two charges: vehicular manslaughter, or vehicular homicide. Though these charges may sound the same initially, they are for different crimes and carry different penalties if you are convicted.
As Cornell Law School defines, vehicular homicide is considered the killing of a human being by the reckless operation of another vehicle. Generally speaking, it is easier to prove vehicular homicide over vehicular manslaughter because less proof of criminal intent is needed. However, vehicular homicide is still considered a second degree felony in many states, which carries a large prison sentence, a huge fine, and community service hours. First degree offenses are even more intensive and can include up to 30 years in jail.
Vehicular manslaughter is also a second degree felony in many cases. A major difference is that a person who is charged with DUI-related vehicular manslaughter will often be required to take classes or programs meant to help if you are struggling to recover from addiction or substance abuse. Manslaughter is also considered to be the harsher charge and will result in longer jail sentences and heftier fines if you are convicted.
Due to the different penalties related to these charges, it is important to understand which one you may be facing and why you will be facing it. Regardless, both charges are very severe. This is why you may benefit from the aid of an attorney well-versed in vehicular homicide cases who can help you represent yourself.