Washington State Vehicular Manslaughter DUI

Lewis & Laws, PLLC is backed by more than four decades of combined experience, a quality that you cannot find at all defense law firms.

  • Home
  • Blog
  • Washington State Vehicular Manslaughter DUI

Get a FREE case review now.

We are available 24/7 to take your call. (206) 209-0608

Aug 27

Lewis & Laws

Washington State Vehicular Manslaughter DUI

by Lewis & Laws

Washington State Vehicular Manslaughter DUI

While not every state in the United States has a specific statute which allows vehicular manslaughter charges to be brought against anyone who kills another person while driving under the influence, the state of Washington does.

Vehicular manslaughter in Washington is a Class A felony, with severe penalties. Under Washington’s statute, if the death of a person occurs within three years as the result of an injury caused by a driver who was driving while under the influence, driving in a reckless manner or driving with disregard for the safety of others, then the driver who caused the injury may be charged with vehicular manslaughter.  

Washington Increases Sentencing Requirements

While the state of Washington once had fairly low sentencing requirements for the crime of vehicular homicide, in 2012 the sentencing grid was altered for this offense. The sentencing range for a conviction of vehicular homicide in the state of Washington is now between six-and-a-half years and eight-and-a-half years. Other states typically have prison sentences from 3-10 years for vehicular manslaughter although the fines for the offense can vary tremendously.

One Significant Difference Between DUI and Vehicular Manslaughter DUI

Most vehicular manslaughter charges are the result of a person driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, rather than reckless driving. There is one major difference between simply being arrested on DUI charges and being arrested for vehicular manslaughter DUI. Most of the time, in a “simple” DUI, you have the right to refuse a blood test. If you are suspected of vehicular manslaughter, however, your blood can be taken whether you agree or not.

Additional Consequences of DUI Vehicular Manslaughter

In addition to fines and possible time behind bars, there are other serious consequences of a DUI vehicular manslaughter conviction:

  • Your license will be suspended for two years (the revocation period will be tolled during any period of confinement for the offense) 
  • You may find it difficult—if not impossible—to ever get vehicle insurance again
  • You may be sentenced to some type of alcohol treatment program 
  • You could be sentenced to community service
  • You could lose your job and/or find it very difficult to obtain employment in the future
  • You could jeopardize a professional license
  • You could have travel restrictions imposed

Getting Legal Help Can Alter the Outcome of Your Charges

There are a wide variety of state penalties as well as other consequences for a conviction of DUI vehicular manslaughter. The state of Washington aggressively prosecutes those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, causing the death of another person.

If you are facing such charges, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Washington DUI criminal defense attorney. While every situation is different, there may be specific defenses which can be used on your behalf. Leaving charges like this to chance almost guarantees you will end up with the most severe penalties and deciding to plead guilty “just to have it over and done with,” is equally risky.

While it is understandable that you would want the issue to be over, having a knowledgeable Washington DUI criminal defense attorney by your side can truly alter the outcome of your charges, perhaps even making it possible for you to continue to work and drive, while engaging in some type of alcohol treatment.

In truth, you simply cannot know just how severe your penalties will be—or how much difference having strong legal representation can make—until you have discussed your case with an attorney. Do not wait—contact a DUI attorney immediately following your charges, or even if you think you might be charged. The sooner your attorney can begin protecting your rights and defending you, the better your future looks. 

Have you or someone you love been arrested and charged with Vehicular Manslaughter DUI? Contact the Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers at Lewis & Laws.

If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Everett, or anywhere in the state of Washington, the expert defense team at Lewis & Laws, PLLC will fight aggressively for you and your future. Our lawyers have successfully defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form to get more information or to get a free case review!

Get answers

Should I plead guilty?

Once you plead guilty to a charge, you cannot change your plea afterwards, so it always advised that you talk with a criminal defense attorney at our firm before you do this. Pleading guilty means that you are admitting your conduct is punishable by the law and you know...

Why do I need a lawyer?

A criminal charge means that you could face sanctions including jail times, fines, probation, potential loss of your driver's license and other penalties. A skilled criminal defense attorney can guide you through the court process and advocate your position in order...

March 12, 2019

Could You Lose Your Vehicle in a Seattle DUI?

Washington state courts and legislature are becoming tougher and tougher on those accused and convicted of DUI. As one of the many ways the state has increased DUI penalties, they now take...

February 25, 2019

Facing Charges of Money Laundering in the State of Washington

It can be problematic for those who have engaged in illegal activities to use the money garnered from these activities because they cannot explain where the money came from without it being...