One type of Nevada DUI charge that combines both a person's prior DUI convictions and the instance of death as a result of driving while intoxicated is vehicular homicide. These cases often are complex and can vary widely based on the individual circumstances of each situation.
When a person is killed as a result of another person's action or actions, the penalties associated with the criminal charge could be severe. A vehicular homicide conviction in Nevada could mean prison time, expensive fines and possible license restrictions. Facing these charges can be overwhelming, but having an experienced attorney can make the difference in your case.
If you were charged with vehicular homicide in Las Vegas or the surrounding areas in Clark County, contact an experienced DUI attorney at Gallo Law Office. James C. Gallo is dedicated to helping his clients, no matter how difficult the charges may appear. He works diligently to get favorable results for his clients.
Call (702) 385-3131 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your unique case. When you future is on the line, the assistance of an experienced and educated Las Vegas vehicular homicide attorney could be critical. Gallo Law Office represents clients throughout Clark County, including those in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson.
Information About Vehicular Homicide
- Nevada Definition of Vehicular Homicide
- Establishing the Three Prior DUI Convictions
- Penalties for Vehicular Homicide in Nevada
- Possible Defenses to Vehicular Homicide Charges
Nevada Definition of Vehicular Homicide
Vehicular homicide is a very specific charge. For a person to be charged with the offense, he or she must be considered under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of substances while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle. This constitutes the DUI part of the offense.
The person also must have three prior DUI convictions, which is a violation of NRS 484C.130. Additionally, the person must have caused the death of another while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle, either on or off the highways in the state. All of these factors must align for the charge to be considered vehicular homicide.
Establishing the Three Prior DUI Convictions
The prosecutor must list the three prior convictions in the complaint, also known as the charging document. This is the same requirement that exists for charging a DUI third offense or a DUI with a prior felony conviction.
Unlike a third offense DUI where the two priors must have occurred within seven years of the first offense, the three priors used to charge a vehicular homicide do not have to have occurred within seven years. This means two decades could have passed since the last offense, and the driver still could face vehicular homicide charges.
Penalties for Vehicular Homicide in Nevada
Under NRS 484C.440, the penalty for vehicular homicide in Nevada is a Category A Felony. This is punishable by life imprisonment with the possibility of parole after 10 years have been served or by a definite term of 10 to 25 years in prison. Additionally, a person could have his or her license suspended or revoked.
In Nevada, a defendant probably could not be charged with murder as a result of driving drunk unless it is alleged that the defendant intentionally killed the victim. See Sheriff v. LaMotte, 100 Nev. 270, 680 P.2d 333 (1984).
Possible Defenses to Vehicular Homicide Charges
With so much at stake, building a strong defense in a vehicular homicide case is important. The driver and his or her legal counsel will need to prove he or she was not responsible for the death of the other person, whether it was another driver, a passenger or a pedestrian.
The state must be able to prove the driver's actions directly caused the death of another. This sometimes could be a difficult part of the prosecution's case against a person. The defense could argue some other factor contributed to the person's death or the actions of the victim.
In some instances, an attorney could help a client have his or her charges reduced. In Nevada, vehicular homicide sometimes is reduced to felony reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter. This could mean less time behind bars and fewer fines. Contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer to learn more about your possible options.
Finding A Vehicular Homicide Defense Attorney in Clark County
If you have been charged with vehicular homicide in Las Vegas, criminal defense attorney James C. Gallo can examine the facts of your case and help you make the best decisions when defending your case.
No matter the situation, Gallo Law Office can help. Call (702) 385-3131 to schedule a free consultation today. Gallo Law Office fights for clients throughout Clark County and the surrounding areas of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, NV.