Accident DUI Resulting in Death
Prosecutors in Arizona take drunk driving seriously, especially if it causes somebody else's death. There is no particular law used to penalize accident DUI resulting in death in Arizona. However, criminal charges may be pursued under statutes that penalize homicide, as well as DUI charges. If you are arrested or charged for an accident DUI that caused someone's death, whether it was based on alcohol or drugs, it is crucial to hire an experienced Phoenix accident DUI lawyer. James Novak is a former prosecutor who uses his insights into the State's tactics to provide a tough, aggressive defense to a wide range of drunk driving charges.Fighting Charges Related to Accident DUI Resulting in Death
Prosecutors sometimes pursue both DUI and homicide charges after a drunk driving accident results in death. There are different types of homicide charges that may apply: negligent homicide, manslaughter, or second-degree murder. Arizona Revised Statutes section 13-1102 sets forth that you can be convicted of negligent homicide when you cause someone's death with criminal negligence. The death can be of an unborn baby. The prosecutor will need to prove that there was a criminal negligent act, which drunk driving is. That act must be the cause of the victim's death. For example, if you were drunk and drove head-on into a car, killing the driver and a child in the backseat, you could be convicted of negligent homicide, a class 4 felony. You may face up to nearly four years in prison.
You can be charged with vehicular manslaughter under A.R.S. section 13-1103 if you recklessly cause somebody's death or recklessly or knowingly cause the death of an unborn child through the physical injury of the child's mother.
You could face second-degree murder charges under section 13-1104. The prosecuting attorney will need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally caused someone else's death, you knew that your actions would cause death or serious physical injuries, or you recklessly performed certain acts that generated a severe risk of death, thereby triggering the death of another person under circumstances showing an extreme indifference to human life. Factors that can result in a vehicular manslaughter charge in Arizona include excessive speeding, DUI, racing, and aggressive driving. Manslaughter is a class 2 felony. That means that if the prosecutor secures a conviction, you may face a maximum of 12.5 years of imprisonment.
You can also be charged with second-degree murder after an accident DUI resulting in death. This is a very serious charge that can result in 16 years to life imprisonment if a conviction is secured. The prosecutor would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you drove drunk, knowing that it would result in the death of another person but without planning to kill someone. A prosecutor is likely to charge second-degree murder if an extreme or super extreme DUI causes somebody's death.
A DUI charge will also likely be pursued. The DUI can be based on driving under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs. A DUI can be charged as per se driving under the influence if your blood alcohol content was .08%, or it can be charged if you drove drunk while impaired to the slightest degree.
Under some circumstances, people drive away from the scene of a fatal accident without stopping to provide assistance. They may be drunk, or they may be scared because they do not have insurance. If you leave the scene of an accident in which somebody died, you will likely be prosecuted aggressively, and the prosecutor may pursue more serious charges than if you had stayed.Consult a DUI Defense Attorney in the Phoenix Area
Accident DUI resulting in death can lead to aggressive prosecution. You should take seriously any charges arising from an accident DUI resulting in death in Arizona. James E. Novak is a former prosecutor who now works as a defense lawyer for drivers throughout the Phoenix area, including in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and elsewhere in Maricopa County. Contact James Novak at (480) 413-1499 or via our online form.