When you go out for drinks, the last thing on your mind is to cause an accident while driving home. However, after having a few drinks, your judgment might be clouded, or you might believe that the alcohol is out of your system. Despite your best intentions at the beginning of the night, you have decided to drive home. At the law office of Mark B. Arthur, PC, we have spoken to numerous people in the same situation, who meant no harm but were held responsible for alcohol-related accidents. It is important for you and other Virginia residents to understand the potential consequences of a drunk driving accident that resulted in someone’s death.
According to Virginia Decoded, a drunk driving accident that resulted in a fatality qualifies as involuntary manslaughter, and is a Class 5 felony. What is involuntary manslaughter? This is the term for an accidental death that resulted from reckless or unlawful activity. In this case, you could be charged for involuntary manslaughter after a fatal accident in which alcohol was detected in your system. Other examples of involuntary manslaughter might include a death after a gun mistakenly discharges, or a fatal car accident that resulted from speeding or driving while texting.
As you might expect, a conviction for involuntary manslaughter can come with serious consequences, the most notable being prison time. It is imperative to seek legal assistance when you have been accused of causing someone else’s death or serious injury. Our page on fighting drunk driving charges explains more.