If a person operates or drives a vehicle in a reckless manner, and this conduct is the proximate cause of the death of another, such person commits Vehicular Homicide (C.R.S. 18-3-106) in Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas County, Colorado. If the driver is under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance at the time of the Vehicular Homicide, it is considered a strict liability crime. In such circumstances, Driving Under the Influence (DUI, C.R.S. 42-4-1301) is a lesser included offense of Vehicular Homicide.
Sentencing for Colorado Vehicular Homicide
Sentencing in Weld, Larimer, and Boulder County Colorado depends on whether the Vehicular Homicide occurred while the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If a person is not under the influence, but driving recklessly, Vehicular Homicide is a class 4 felony and carries up to six years in prison. If a person is under the influence, this crime is a class 3 felony and carries up to twelve years in prison.
Similar to the law for Driving Under the Influence, a person who refuses to take a blood or breath test to determine blood alcohol content (B.A.C.) will have their drivers license revoked by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unlike in DUI situations, the officer with probable cause for Colorado Vehicular Homicide can actually force a driver to submit to a test to determine the presence and level of alcohol or drugs.
Lawful Use of Drugs is Not a Defense to Vehicular Homicide
C.R.S. 18-3-106 makes it clear that even though a driver may be entitled to use a controlled substance (prescription pain killers, for example) the fact that they are legally allowed to use the drug is not a defense to driving while under its influence and committing Vehicular Homicide.
Colorado Vehicular Homicide Attorney
If you have been accused of this serious crime, you need a law firm with dedicated and experienced criminal defense attorneys at your side. At the O’Malley Law Office, we are committed to making sure you have a strong defense in your Vehicular Homicide case, and we have years of experience defending the accused throughout Colorado. We have successfully had cases dismissed, negotiated advantageous plea bargains, and won acquittals during trial. If you are contacted by the Denver, Lakewood, Aurora, or Centennial police, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call our Colorado criminal defense lawyers at 303-731-0719 to set up a free initial consultation. Together, we can protect your future.