There are many scenarios whereby the intentional or reckless use of a motor vehicle can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. From drunken driving to reckless endangerment, when an injury occurs and a motor vehicle is involved, serious felony charges will likely follow. In such cases only an experienced criminal defense attorney who has already experienced in this sort of crime will be able to help.
Reckless Endangerment: A reckless endangerment charge, whether in the first or second degree, is typically attached to vehicular assaults and vehicular manslaughters. In its most basic form, reckless endangerment is defined as engaging in conduct or behavior that creates a risk of injury or death to another. On a related note, New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) § 1212 governs reckless driving. Pursuant to this statute, you could be charged with reckless driving if you:
Vehicular Manslaughter: Vehicular manslaughter occurs when a person causes the death of another while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A second-degree crime carrying serious prison time, this crime is a Class “D” felony in New York and requires a showing that the driver of a vehicle in a fatal accident was impaired by drugs or alcohol to a certain level.
Typically, with vehicular manslaughter and related charges, the government will set out to convince a jury that you acted in a reckless manner by operating a motor vehicle while impaired or at a speed well-above the legal limit. It is crucial that your defense attorney challenge every aspect of your alleged impairment, whether that be the evidence from a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test. It is also important to explore various defenses that may present themselves in unique situations such as the doctrines of justification and necessity.
If you are accused of vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault, or reckless endangerment, it is imperative that you hire a former prosecutor and seasoned criminal defense attorney who has dealt with these offenses on both sides of the courtroom. The penalties for these crimes are serious, calling for long prison sentences and hefty fines. The steps your defense attorney takes, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will increase your chances of successfully walking away from these serious accusations and shape the rest of your life.
The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more opportunity you will have to work toward a favorable outcome.