Vehicular Homicide Laws in Washington
Fatalities in car accidents may seem like a rare occurrence, but it is not out of the question. In the State of Washington, 745 fatalities occurred from car accidents alone last year. Getting into a car accident which results in the death of another person has serious legal consequences like being charged with Vehicular Homicide in Washington. In serious cases such as vehicular homicide, defenses can be very technical and demand intuition and understanding. Understand the legal implications and consequences. Learn about Vehicular Homicide laws in Washington. Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced attorney is in your best interest as it will likely affect the outcome of your case. The Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer handles a number of vehicular homicide cases each year, and has many skilled lawyers ready to vigorously defend you in court.
When can I be charged with vehicular homicide?
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) has three main prongs under which you can be charged and convicted of vehicular homicide. It is considered a class A felony as it carries up to life in prison and up to $50,000 in fines. Additionally a conviction brings along a strike offense. Racking up three strike offenses in the State of Washington is an automatic life imprisonment sentence. Travel and license restrictions may be imposed on you, as well as mandates for treatment.
Driving Under the Influence: Driving while having alcohol or THC from marijuana in your bloodstream will generally fall under DUI. Being intoxicated with a blood or alcohol level of at least 0.08 or TCH concentration of 5.00 is considered Driving Under the Influence. Having a lower level of intoxication than the legal limit can still impair your ability to drive and play a causal role in such an accident. This is the most serious of the three as depending on your sentencing 2 years can be added for every prior infraction of the alcohol and drugs as outlined in a related statute going on to reference penalties, fines and treatment of alcohol and drug related convictions.
Reckless Driving: This generally means endangering others on the road due to the way in which you are operating your motor vehicle. Inattentiveness, high speeds, or aggressive driving can be considered as reckless driving.
Disregard for the Safety of Others: Operating a motor vehicle in such a manner in which it isn’t quite considered reckless driving but also not considered ordinary negligence, falls under this category. Distracted driving or being on your phone driving are a couple of good examples of this.
Vehicular homicide can get complicated quickly
In November of 2022 Liming Gao was driving on North East 130th Street when his car went off of the overpass and landed on I-5, causing an accident involving multiple vehicles which proved fatal for a 29 year-old woman. At the scene the police went on to conduct a field sobriety test in which Liming Gao was suspected of driving under the influence prior to the accident. Gao’s bail was set at $2 million and was charged with vehicular homicide.
Vehicular homicide cases are very complex and serious cases with a number of moving components. The state may also take several months of investigating before you are charged, so retaining a lawyer as soon as possible and starting your own investigations will be crucial. Having a skilled lawyer to handle your case will allow for a thorough analysis of your case, helping the overall outcome of your case. Given the strict liability character of these offenses, a skilled practitioner and even accident specialists might be needed in order to defend you properly. If you were Gao wouldn’t you want highly experienced and skilled lawyers defending your case? At the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer we can offer you highly skilled legal professionals, ready to defend you and provide the best possible outcome.
Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer and schedule a free consultation with us today.