Negligently Operating a Vehicle Resulting in Injury in Utah
When a person is killed in a random auto accident, it’s a tragedy and must be investigated. However, it does not necessarily mean that a criminal act has occurred. If the fatal crash was due to someone else’s negligent driving, a civil liability claim might be brought against the driver at fault but not necessarily criminal charges. Under Utah law, negligence must be extreme enough to reach the level at which it becomes a criminal act.
You will need to work with one of the area’s most experienced criminal defense lawyers to guide you through the process. Wasatch negligent driving lawyers have a deep understanding of Utah negligence law and the state courts. Your criminal defense lawyer will interpret the laws as they apply to your case and negotiate with prosecutors accordingly.
Click to jump to the section:
- When Does Negligence Reach the Criminal Level?
- Levels of Criminal Negligence
- Negligent Homicide in Automobile-Related Death
- Negligently Operating a Vehicle Resulting in Injury in Utah?
Protect your rights. Call our office for guidance as soon as possible after you are arrested.
When Does Negligence Reach the Criminal Level?
So, causing a deadly accident by the negligent operation of a motor vehicle becomes the crime of negligent homicide. If you are found guilty of causing another person’s death, criminal charges may be filed against you. But under what circumstances does an act of negligent driving rise to a level of severity that constitutes criminal action? The answer to that question can be varied and highly nuanced.
Levels of Criminal Negligence
Distinguishing between a basic case of negligence and one of negligent homicide is a subjective matter involving a very nuanced evaluative process. In your case, as in all similar ones, the judge, prosecutor, criminal defense attorney will all struggle to interpret actions accurately and understand the question of justice to be applied to those. But this situation leaves a lot of opportunity for ambitious district attorneys to attempt to maximize charges in cases of merely the common lapses that most people can experience while driving.
Negligent Homicide in Automobile-Related Death
Is negligent operation of a motor vehicle a felony? In Utah, negligent homicide is defined as an act of criminal negligence that causes another person’s death. This level of motor vehicle negligence is a Class A misdemeanor. It carries a sentence of up to one year of incarceration and fines of up to $2,500. Additionally, negligent homicide involving a car wreck can cause the convicted person to have his or her driver’s license revoked.
A death that results from an accident caused by a person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a Class 2 felony at minimum. A Class 2 felony in Utah can carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If You are Charged with Criminal Negligence
Being involved in a deadly auto accident is an overwhelming experience, and while you’re still struggling to process the terrible thing that has happened, you may be faced with a charge of negligent homicide. Wasatch Defense Lawyers are here to help you through the situation. Our priority is to help ensure that all of your rights are fully protected and that you understand what is happening in your case as we work to have your charges dropped or substantially reduced.
If you are charged with negligently operating a vehicle, call Wasatch Defense Lawyers at (901-980-9965), or contact us here online to schedule a free legal consultation.
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