There are many instances where people get hurt not as a result of intentional misconduct but because of an accident. When an accident occurs because of reckless conduct, it may be known as a reckless homicide. It may also be called involuntary manslaughter.
Involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide are common charges after DUI-related crashes that lead to deaths. Reckless homicide charges may be placed against anyone who kills another person as a result of their own reckless behaviors.
What makes a reckless homicide different from murder?
The difference is that there is not an intention to harm someone in a reckless homicide. With a murder, there is generally some form of intent and planning behind a crime.
What are the penalties for involuntary manslaughter?
Although involuntary manslaughter is not quite the same as murder, someone still dies as a result of your actions. The family may be angry, and it is possible that the court will not be very lenient.
Penalties range between 10 and 16 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter charges. If there was reckless conduct, then that may be increased at the judge's discretion. If you kill someone in an auto accident as a result of your negligence, then you will face even more time in prison.
The good news about these charges is that judges have a lot of discretion in these cases. They look at aggravating and mitigating factors to decide if they are going to hand down a harsh sentence or a lighter sentence. There is a chance that you could avoid sentencing all together if you are able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecuting attorney.
Is it worth taking a plea deal?
In many cases, a plea deal is worth the trouble. It explains exactly what happens once you take the deal, and there is no element of surprise like there would be if you went to trial. Your defense attorney will work with you and the prosecution to come up with a solution that is favorable for all involved.
You can help yourself by showing that you are committed to changing the behaviors that led to the person's death. Whether that means seeking treatment for alcohol abuse and promoting driving safety, it's a good idea to show that you are willing to take responsibility for your actions. Even though this was an accident, you can demonstrate that you're willing to prevent situations like this in the future.