Vehicular Manslaughter

Rhode Island DUI Manslaughter

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A typical drunk driving or DUI charge is a misdemeanor in the State of Rhode Island. However, any DUI charge in which a motorist seriously injures or kills another person is a felony charge. In some states, this would be referred to as vehicular manslaughter, in Rhode Island, it is driving under the influence resulting in serious bodily injury or death. Both charges are extremely serious and the penalties are severe.

If you or someone you love has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, call the Law Offices of Robert H. Humprey at (401) 441-5486 or contact us online. Our Rhode Island DUI manslaughter attorney can help.

Punishment for DUI Resulting in Death

A DUI resulting in death is an extremely serious charge and can result in significant jail time.

The penalties for DUI homicide include:

  • Five (5) to fifteen (15) years imprisonment at the ACI
  • $5,000.00 to $10,000.00 fine
  • Five (5) years of license revocation
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

What are the Elements of DUI Manslaughter?

For a DUI resulting in death charge, there must be strong evidence that shows the following:

  • The defendant was driving a motor vehicle
  • The defendant was driving the vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety of others
  • Driving the vehicle was the proximate cause of the victim’s death

Here, “reckless disregard for the safety of others” means that the defendant behaved in a way that completely disregarded the safety of others without concern for the consequences of their actions. Examples of this would be driving at very high speeds, driving erratically, tailgating, racing, ignoring traffic lights and traffic signs, etc.

DUI Manslaughter and Refusing Breath or Blood Tests

In a typical DUI case, a motorist is allowed to refuse to submit to a breath or blood test when asked by the arresting police department. If they refuse the test, the police department will not conduct a test over their objections. Instead, the motorist will then be charged with refusal to submit to a test. In DUI resulting in serious bodily injury or death cases, a motorist is not allowed to refuse to submit to a breath or blood test. If a motorist refuses, the arresting police department will request a warrant from a judge. This is important because the blood test will provide additional evidence of intoxication which can be used against a motorist in any criminal case.

Please call (401) 441-5486 or contact us online for a free consultation with a DUI manslaughter lawyer. Don't wait until it's too late. Choose Rhode Island's premier DUI criminal defense law firm.

What is the Difference Between Injury and Serious Injury?

The law does define the difference between injury and serious injury. Any “physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious physical disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ” is considered to be a serious injury.

Penalties for DUI Resulting in Serious Injury

The penalties for DUI resulting in serious injury include:

  • One (1) to ten (10) years imprisonment at the ACI
  • $1,000.00 to $5,000.00 fine
  • Up to two (2) years of license revocation
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

Contact a Rhode Island DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Robert H. Humphrey today to start working on your defense. 


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