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What Is Vehicular Homicide?

In Kentucky, there is no specific statute regarding vehicular homicide.  If you are operating a vehicle and are involved in an accident that results in death, you may be charged under a variety of different statutes. Criminal law requires some degree of culpability.  As such, there are some accidents that are just that: accidents.  If you are involved in an automobile accident, even involving death, you may not be charged with any crime.  If, however, there is a belief that your conduct was intentional, wanton or reckless, you may be charged with criminal behavior. For example, if you are drunk and operating while impaired by drugs or alcohol, it is likely that a prosecutor will charge with reckless or wanton conduct.  This is in addition to the DUI charge that will likely be brought.  The difference may be from a very serious charge of murder or manslaughter, or a less, but still serious charge of manslaughter 2 or reckless homicide.  All of these charges are considered felonies in Kentucky, but carry very different amounts of jail, probation and timing for potential parole. A criminal charge can vary and may have very different possible outcomes, for example:

  • A class D Felony (1-5 years) for reckless homicide, with possibility of probation or parole after serving 15% of the sentence
  • A class C Felony (5-10 years) for manslaughter 2, with possibility of probation or parole after serving 15% of the sentence;
  • A class B felony (10-20 years) for manslaughter 1, with mandatory 80% before parole eligibility; or
  • A class A felony (20-life) for murder charge, with mandatory 80% before parole eligibility.

If you have been involved in an automobile accident involving DUI, injury or death, you need to consult with an attorney. Do not speak with anyone regarding your case except your attorney.  For consultation in Kentucky, call attorney Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

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