Many people do not realize the severe consequences that their driving might have beyond the potential fatal results of an accident. In this article, Gainesville Personal Injury Attorney, Jeffrey Meldon defines vehicular homicide and reckless driving along with their corresponding punishments.
A vehicular homicide, commonly referred to as a vehicular manslaughter, is the killing of a person or a fetus by an injury to the mother, caused by reckless driving of a vehicle. This crime is proscribed in Florida Statute §782.071.
Reckless driving is driving “any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” (Florida Statute §316.192). This usually involves speeding, driving under influence, or racing. Because the driving is so reckless in vehicular homicide cases, the driver’s intent to kill is not necessary to prosecute the crime. Therefore, the prosecution is not required to prove driver’s intent to kill such as in a murder case.
Vehicular homicide is punishable as a felony of either a first degree or a second degree. Felonies are divided by several degrees of severity, which provide different levels of punishment. Vehicular homicide is usually a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000. However, if at the time of the accident a person knew or should have known that the accident occurred and failed to give information to a police officer or render reasonable aid to those injured (per Florida Statute §316.062), a crime is prosecuted as a first degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
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We at Meldon Law strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of an accident or in the recovery from one.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys, trial lawyers, negotiators, litigators, paralegals, and staff that have been proudly working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, Inverness, and the rest of North Central Florida and North Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, and motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accidents, dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
Based on Jeffrey Meldon’s, founder of Meldon Law, over 40 years of helping accident victims get justice and a fair shake from the insurance companies, he has written the consumer guide book, Seven Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Florida Accident Case. You can request your free, no obligation copy right now, or contact our office for your complimentary copy sent to you today.
Contact Meldon Law at (800) 373-8000 or (352) 373-8000 immediately if you have been involved in a serious auto, truck, or motorcycle accident. We are in your community, have the experience and resources required to work towards obtaining a fair settlement for you – we are here to help you.