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The potential penalties of a DUI involving death

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2023 | Drunk Driving, Firm News

Although people know the dangers of driving under the influence (DUI), many still risk it, believing that nothing will go wrong. This reckless behavior, unfortunately, could cost someone else’s life. The aftermath is a hard and traumatizing lesson, burdened with harsh consequences.

Legal consequences

When a DUI claims another person’s life in Maryland, the driver at fault may face vehicular manslaughter charges. These are serious criminal offenses that carry severe legal consequences.

The severity of the penalties will depend on several factors, such as whether the driver has a history of convictions, their level of impairment and the specifics of the case. Additionally, the court will examine whether the driver was criminally or grossly negligent.

In vehicular manslaughter with criminal negligence, the driver should have known the risks but failed to exercise caution. It is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

On the other hand, vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence implies that the driver is aware of their risky behavior and potential threat to others but continues, nonetheless. A conviction may result in a felony charge, up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Personal consequences

Causing someone’s death, especially without intending to, can bring about feelings of shame and guilt. Individuals facing the aftermath of a DUI-related death would likely serve time in prison. In case of release, they could experience difficulty finding employment, housing and maintaining personal relationships.

Yet, rebuilding life after a severe conviction such as DUI manslaughter is possible. It will, however, demand considerable effort. Given the life-altering repercussions of such a case, working with a lawyer who has overcome obstacles like this could be a step toward a positive outcome.