Fatal DUI Accident Attorney
Providing Serious Defense for Serious Charges in DC & Alexandria, VA
In Alexandria, VA and the District of Columbia, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs can easily cause a fatal accident, resulting in involuntary manslaughter charges. These allegations are serious and can result in years in prison among other penalties. A charge of this kind requires an experienced DUI defense lawyer with a solid capability to put together a viable defense.
S.L. England, PLLC has that kind of DUI attorney.
Our experience, insights, knowledge, and skills may be just what you need to get the best outcome for your specific case. Though involuntary manslaughter charges are difficult charges to defend, no case is too complex for our firm to handle. This is because we understand how both sides of the law operate, as our lawyer was a former federal prosecutor. Therefore, we can formulate aggressive strategies in anticipation of the prosecution’s attacks against you, increasing your chances of getting your charges reduced or dropped altogether.
Understanding a Fatal DUI Charge in Alexandria, VA and DC
Fatal DUIs in Alexandria, VA and DC are charged as felony DUIs but are defined slightly differently despite the concept being similar. In either case, you can be charged with negligent homicide, manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated involuntary manslaughter if you were illegally intoxicated while operating a vehicle and caused a fatal accident as a result.
Alexandria, VA Code
Alexandria, VA Code § 18.2-36.1 outlines the specific conduct that can be punishable as involuntary manslaughter: “Any person who, as a result of driving under the influence … unintentionally causes the death of another person, shall be guilty of involuntary manslaughter.”
The offense could also be enhanced to aggravated involuntary manslaughter if the conduct of the defendant was so gross, wanton, and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life. If convicted, you could face a mandatory minimum term of one year in prison and a maximum of 20 years.
Washington, DC Code
In DC, you can be charged with manslaughter in addition to DUI if you caused another person’s death due to the operation of a vehicle. The crime of negligent homicide is defined as death that is due to another person’s “careless, reckless, or negligent” operation of a vehicle. With this in mind, D.C. Code § 50–2203.02 states that the crime of negligent homicide shall be included within every manslaughter charge that was committed in the operation of any vehicle.
So, if you are not found guilty of manslaughter, you may be found guilty of negligent homicide instead.
Penalties for a Fatal DUI Conviction in Alexandria, VA or DC
The penalties you can expect for a fatal DUI conviction are dependent on the jurisdiction in which your case is handled, the crime that you are found guilty of (e.g., negligent homicide, involuntary manslaughter, or aggravated involuntary manslaughter), and the overall circumstances of your alleged crime.
Alexandria, VA Penalties
If you are found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in Alexandria, VA, you can expect your sentence to include prison for one to 10 years, a fine of up to $2,500, and driver’s license revocation. A conviction of aggravated involuntary manslaughter can result in a mandatory one-year minimum term of imprisonment which can extend up to 20 years, and your driver’s license will also be revoked.
Washington, DC Penalties
If you are found guilty of negligent homicide in DC, you can expect imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of not more than $12,500, but if you are found guilty of manslaughter, you could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison and suffer a fine not to exceed $75,000.
Defense Strategy for DUI with Involuntary Manslaughter
To prove a fatal DUI in Alexandria, VA or DC, the prosecution must first prove that you were unlawfully driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To counter your fatal DUI allegations, our lawyer will do the following:
- challenge breath or blood test results
- challenge field sobriety tests (FST)
- challenge the administration of FSTs or chemical tests
- challenge the integrity of the equipment used for chemical testing
- identify improper handling of blood samples or mistakes made during the chain of custody of blood samples
- identify constitutional violations at the time of your arrest and file motions to exclude evidence flowing from those violations
However, our defense does not stop at disproving a DUI — the prosecution must still prove that you did not cause the accident that led to the death(s). Thus, S.L. England, PLLC will incorporate this into your defense by utilizing witnesses, expert testimonies, and accident reconstruction reports.
Fighting Fatal DUI Accident Charges in Alexandria, VA & DC
Keep in mind that although DUI cases are defensible, it takes an experienced attorney from S.L. England, PLLC to develop a strong DUI defense, especially when the charge involves involuntary manslaughter. We have the insider knowledge and invaluable skills required to maximize your chances of overcoming fatal DUI allegations in both DC and Alexandria, VA.
As such, if you have been involved in a fatal DUI accident and subsequently charged, you need to retain an experienced DUI defense attorney from S.L. England, PLLC. Our team proudly represents clients throughout the District of Columbia and Alexandria, VA.