While being charged with a OWI/DUI in Wisconsin can lead to significant criminal penalties, even more severe penalties related to the operation of a vehicle may be imposed on people who are convicted of vehicular homicide. Fatal accidents happen throughout Wisconsin each year, and some of them result in serious felony charges. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee vehicular homicide lawyer William J. Reddin recognizes the stress that you may be facing in this situation. He can carefully investigate the details of your situation and craft a strong strategy to protect your rights.Vehicular Homicide in Wisconsin
Vehicular homicide is charged as a Class D or Class G felony in Wisconsin as a first offense. The Class D offense is known as homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, which may be charged in fatal drunk driving accident cases. The Class G offense is known as homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, which may be charged whenever a defendant drives in a way that poses a substantial risk of serious physical harm or death to someone else, and the defendant should be able to recognize the risk. A wide range of situations may give rise to this type of charge, such as running a red light or texting while driving.
A conviction of a Class D vehicular homicide may result in a sentence of up to 25 years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines, while a conviction of a Class G vehicular homicide may result in up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000. Also, if you have received a prior vehicular homicide conviction, a vehicular homicide charge will be classified as a Class C felony, which may expose you to an even longer jail sentence and heavier fine. In addition to criminal penalties, someone who is convicted of a felony charge loses the right to carry a gun or register to vote.
Depending on your situation, there may be persuasive defenses that you can raise. The prosecution must prove each element of the charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, someone who has been charged with vehicular homicide based on intoxication may be able to challenge the testing that was performed to determine his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). You may have been subjected to a test that was not properly administered or that was contaminated. You may also want to look into lab procedures and who administered and evaluated your test to determine whether it may have been handled improperly.
In other cases, a defendant may seek to challenge the causation element of the offense. An accident expert can reconstruct the sequence of events and identify evidence, eyewitnesses, and information that support your side of the story. You may also be able to undermine the intent element of the offense if your charge is based on the negligent operation of a vehicle. This requires showing a very high level of negligence, rather than simply the ordinary negligence that causes most car crashes.Enlist a Milwaukee Lawyer to Fight a Vehicular Homicide Charge
Being involved in a vehicular homicide may be a devastating experience. No matter who is to blame for what happened, it is often difficult to move past the emotions that arise. One important step in moving forward with your life is to face any criminal charges that may have been brought against you in a strong and proactive manner. At Reddin & Singer, LLP, Milwaukee vehicular homicide attorney William J. Reddin is ready to vigorously advocate for you throughout the legal process. He also represents people in Port Washington, Mequon, Racine, Waukesha, West Bend, and other communities throughout Washington, Racine, Ozaukee, and Waukesha Counties. To set up a free consultation, contact us online or call (414) 271-6400. We also can assist people who need a DUI attorney or representation in fighting any other type of criminal charge.