Understanding Vehicular Homicide While Driving Under the Influence Charges in Pennsylvania
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol leads to reckless driving, which poses a threat to the driver, passengers, and other people on the road. To prevent the occurrence of this offense, Pennsylvania has put stringent laws in place. One such law is vehicular homicide while driving under the influence. This law is quite complicated, and many people don’t understand what the Commonwealth must prove to get a conviction. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the essential elements of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence charges in Pennsylvania.
- Must Have a Negligence Case: To prove vehicular homicide while driving under the influence charge, the Commonwealth must have a negligence case against the driver. A negligent act is a behavior that leads to an unreasonable risk of harm to others. The law in Pennsylvania dictates that a driver must exercise due care when driving on the roads. Thus, if the driver’s behavior deviates from what another reasonable person would do, we can prove negligence.
- Recklessness: After proving negligence, the prosecution must prove recklessness. Recklessness refers to the act of knowingly driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, disregarding known risks, and engaging in conduct that presents a substantial risk to others. The Commonwealth must prove that the driver understood the harm their actions could cause and, despite this knowledge, still chose to act recklessly.
- Causation: Causation is the connection between the action of the driver and the victim’s death. It must show that the driver’s reckless behavior led directly to the victim’s death. To prove causation, the prosecution must show that the driver’s actions were a substantial factor that caused the death of the victim.
- Blood Alcohol Concentration: The law in Pennsylvania presumes that a driver is intoxicated if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is above 0.08%. The Commonwealth can use the driver’s BAC as evidence of their intoxication, which can help prove their recklessness.
- Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Finally, to convict a person of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, the prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard is the highest and most stringent standard of proof in the U.S. legal system. It means that a person can only get convicted if there’s no reasonable doubt about their guilt.
Vehicular homicide while driving under the influence is a severe offense with significant legal repercussions. To prove this charge, the Commonwealth must show that the driver displayed negligence, recklessness, and that their behavior caused the victim’s death. In addition, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was driving under the influence. If you’ve been charged with vehicular homicide while driving under the influence in Pennsylvania, it’s crucial to hire a seasoned attorney with experience in such cases. With this blog post, we hope we’ve enlightened you about the essential elements of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence charges in Pennsylvania.
Contact Chester County DUI Defense Attorney
It may be possible to fight your Pennsylvania DUI charge and win, but you’ll never know if you plead guilty without first exploring your options. Ciccarelli Law Offices can review your case to determine whether the local Pennsylvania district attorney’s case has weaknesses that are open to challenge. We will prepare each case as though it is going to trial to insure preparation and thorough understanding and will take the case to trial if you are not satisfied with the resolution that is offered. We strive to be zealous advocates and always try to obtain the best results for our clients.
We are based in West Chester PA (Chester County) in Suburban Philadelphia and represent individuals charged with Drunk Driving, DUI, Driving After Imbibing cases Throughout Pennsylvania including but not limited to Philadelphia, Lancaster, Allentown, Oxford Exton Phoenixville Parkesburg Malvern Coatesville Lionville Chesterbrook Devon Newtown Square Glen Mills Pottstown Downingtown Kennett Square King of Prussia Paoli and beyond.
You deserve a West Chester Pennsylvania DUI lawyer that is available when you need him, treats you with respect, and protects your rights vigorously. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania DUI Attorney at Ciccarelli Law Offices, by contacting us at (610) 692-8700 or toll free at (877) 529-2422.