Your night out at a local bar with friends ended in tragedy. You collided with another vehicle, and the driver of that car did not survive the event. You suffered injuries and required hospitalization. While there, police requested a blood test to check you for impairment, which came back showing a high blood-alcohol concentration. After your release from the hospital, police took you into custody and filed a DUI homicide charge against you.
In the blink of an eye, your life has changed forever. You probably feel lost and do not know where to turn for help. A DUI homicide charge is nothing to treat lightly. The state of Pennsylvania certainly will not. How you handle your case and who you have at your side matters.
DUI homicide basics
A DUI homicide charge falls under the involuntary manslaughter category. This means that you did not intend to kill anyone. It does mean that the authorities believe negligent conduct on your behalf contributed to the death of another human being.
In order for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction in this type of case, they have to prove that you were reckless. They have to prove that you failed to exercise care when behind the wheel. This they can do simply by showing the court the result of your blood-alcohol test — unless you can successfully challenge the results.
Challenging toxicology reports is not necessarily an easy feat, but it does not mean it is impossible. Legal counsel can review the details of your case, investigate the circumstances under which police took and processed your sample, and present to the court any findings that help your case.
A DUI homicide or involuntary manslaughter charge may be a misdemeanor or a felony. It all depends on the details of your case. The penalties tied to a conviction include incarceration, fines and suspension of driving privileges. A misdemeanor carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment.
What to do
If you find yourself facing a DUI homicide charge, you have options, and you have rights. You do not have to sit by and let the state put you away without a fight. With experienced legal counsel at your side, you can defend yourself and seek the best outcome possible under the circumstances.