Milwaukee Vehicular Manslaughter Lawyers

Were you arrested and accused of vehicular manslaughter after an accident? If so, you have the right to defend yourself against these accusations. It’s important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately, so they can get started on your case and work to uphold your rights and protect your freedom.

The penalties for this type of crime can vary drastically, depending on the circumstances of the case. An individual could face only a misdemeanor or a range of more serious felony charges. The one certain thing is that vehicular manslaughter is a charge that is taken very seriously in the state of Wisconsin, especially when drugs or alcohol are involved.

Having a vehicular manslaughter conviction on your record can significantly alter the course of your future and impact everything from your family life, to your job, your financial stability, and your ability to pursue future opportunities.

At Hart Powell, S.C., we know just how frightening it can be to have to face a charge like vehicular manslaughter. You may be uncertain as to what your legal options are or where you should even begin after being charged. You have questions, and the legal team at Hart Powell, S.C. has the answers. We have an experienced team of Milwaukee state homicide attorneys ready to aggressively defend you.

If you or a loved one has been charged with any form of vehicular manslaughter, you need immediate and dedicated legal representation. Call us today at (414) 271-9595 to schedule an initial consultation and let us help you understand your legal options.

What Is Vehicular Manslaughter?

Vehicles are machines of immense power. To drive one requires responsibility behind the wheel, which is why testing is conducted before individuals are allowed to receive their driver’s license. Reckless behavior behind the wheel can result in serious and sometimes fatal consequences, and that is why vehicular manslaughter is such a serious charge.

Vehicular manslaughter is a crime where negligent or reckless behavior behind the wheel results in the death of another individual or an unborn child. While the crime of killing someone, itself, may not have been intentional or planned, the reckless actions still resulted in the death of another person. An individual may be charged with vehicular manslaughter even in cases where the death was an accident or a mistake. Any type of reckless or negligent behavior behind the wheel of an automobile is taken seriously by the courts in the state of Wisconsin.

Vehicular Manslaughter Categories

The state of Wisconsin breaks down vehicular homicide into two different categories. These categories are differentiated by the circumstances under which the accident took place and fall under Wisconsin’s involuntary manslaughter statutes.

The first category is called Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle or Firearm. This charge applies to drivers who cause the death of another person or an unborn child by operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant. In Wisconsin, a person may be legally determined to be intoxicated if they meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Impaired by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two substances. This impairment must render them incapable of safe vehicular operation.
  • Has a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher
  • Has a detectable amount of a controlled substance in their system

It is also important to note that the exact BAC may vary in cases where an individual has other prior convictions, license suspensions, or currently has an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

The second vehicular manslaughter category is called Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle. This charge is often the result of an individual causing the death of another person or unborn child by negligently operating a vehicle. The definition seems vague, so what does negligence mean? The act of criminal negligence is typically defined as an action or behavior that a person should realize creates an unreasonable risk of injury or death.

When it comes to operating a vehicle, a person who ends up killing someone because they ran a red light, or they were texting and driving, could face a Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle charge in the state of Wisconsin.

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter

There are different levels of penalties that are associated with each of the two categories of vehicular manslaughter. The consequences of vehicular homicide in Wisconsin vary, and may also depend on the unique circumstances of an individual’s case. While penalties may vary, they are serious.

Homicide by Negligent Operation of a Vehicle

  • Class G felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $25,000

Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle or Firearm

  • Class D felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or fines of up to $100,000

It is important to note that in cases of Homicide by Intoxicated Use of Vehicle or Firearm, if an individual has at least one prior DWI conviction or a DWI-related license suspension on their record, the charge is bumped up to a Class C felony. A Class C felony can result in up to 40 years in prison and/or fines of up to $100,000.

In some situations, the circumstances may warrant a lesser misdemeanor charge if negligence was at play. This may be a situation where a driver glanced down at the console of their vehicle, and an accident happened in the seconds their eyes were off the road. In many cases, though, an individual charged with any form of vehicular manslaughter should take the charges seriously and contact an attorney immediately for legal advice. A manslaughter conviction can significantly impact the rest of your life. Don’t leave your future up in the air. Contact an experienced defense attorney for help.

Defense Strategies for Vehicular Manslaughter Cases

Defense strategies are not one-size-fits-all solutions. A vehicular manslaughter defense depends entirely on the circumstances and facts surrounding the accident. In order to build a solid defense strategy, an attorney must take the time to get to know their client and complete a thorough independent investigation into the accident itself.

By putting together all the pieces of the puzzle, an experienced defense attorney can then begin to craft a solid defense plan for their client. It is important to contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible, so they can begin the process of preserving evidence and protecting your rights.

Defense tactics that may be applied to your case could include:

  • Accident without negligence
  • The client’s actions were not the cause of death
  • There was a failure to follow proper procedures
  • Lack of evidence
  • Valid prescription for drugs

At Hart Powell, S.C., we know that while all cases of vehicular manslaughter involve an automobile, that is where the similarities end. Every case is unique and requires an attorney to investigate, review the facts, and build a personalized defense plan for their client. This is crucial because vehicular manslaughter cases are taken very seriously by prosecuting attorneys who will employ aggressive tactics to get the result they want. You need a defense team that is just as aggressive when it comes to protecting your rights.

The legal system can be complex and difficult to navigate. Having an experienced attorney on your side means you can rest assured that your case will be handled with sensitivity and a commitment to helping you achieve the best possible outcome.

These types of charges are not insignificant; they carry hefty penalties and can change the course of your life and future. A conviction in either of the vehicular manslaughter categories can have a lasting impact on your ability to find a job, secure a loan or credit, and even move into a new home or apartment. Your reputation, family life, job prospects, and financial security may all be on the line.

With so much at stake, you need to find an attorney with the experience and skill to defend you and safeguard your future. The legal team at Hart Powell, S.C. can provide you with the legal advice you need and layout your defense strategy.

Contact an Experienced Milwaukee Defense Attorney Today

You don’t have time to waste. Critical evidence that could help your case may be lost or destroyed if you wait too long to secure legal help. If you or a loved one is facing a vehicular manslaughter charge, you have the right to strong and experienced legal representation.

You don’t have to settle or feel intimidated by the legal process. Contact the firm of Hart Powell, S.C. for the legal advice you deserve. You are entitled to the defense attorney of your choosing, so choose the team that has the experience and tenacity to fight for you. Choose the team at Hart Powell, S.C..

If you are ready to start building your vehicular manslaughter defense, contact us today by calling (414) 271-9595. We can schedule an initial consultation over the phone and help you prepare for what’s ahead.

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : November 12, 2020