Vehicular Homicide

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Several states have laws referred to as an assault by auto or vehicular homicide as it is considered in Illinois. As the driver of a truck, there is a lot of responsibility; the greatest concern is safety and keeping fatigued drivers off the highway and freeways. There are regulations for when and how long a driver may drive.

You don’t know when an accident can occur; recently a tractor-trailer rammed into a limousine bus, because the driver dozed off, setting off a chain-reaction crash. The truck driver was charged with death by auto in the crash that killed a man; two people were seriously injured and flown from the accident scene to a local hospital, where they were left in critical condition.

If a driver unintentionally kills an individual without lawful justification, they commit Involuntary Manslaughter; if their acts, whether lawful or unlawful, cause the death, are likely to cause death or great bodily harm to some individual, and it is performed recklessly, it is considered to be Reckless Homicide. A person commits Reckless Homicide if he or she unintentionally kills an individual while driving a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne.  Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide are each considered to be a Class 3 felony.

In cases involving Reckless Homicide in which the defendant drove a vehicle and used an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne and caused the deaths of 2 or more persons as part of a single course of conduct, the penalty is a Class 2 felony.

In cases involving Involuntary Manslaughter or Reckless Homicide resulting in the death of a police officer being killed while on the job as an officer, the penalty is a Class 2 felony. Reckless Homicide includes cases in which the defendant unintentionally kills an individual while driving in a posted school zone, while children are present or in a construction or maintenance zone. According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, when construction or maintenance workers are present, that fact may infer that the defendant’s actions were performed recklessly especially where he or she was also either driving at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour in excess of the posted speed limit or violating Section 11-501 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.

Except in cases involving Reckless Homicide in which the offense was committed as result of a violation of a subsection of the Illinois Vehicle Code, the penalty is a Class 2 felony, for which a person, if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall be sentenced to a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 14 years.

Many states hope that increased criminal penalties will act as a deterrent to reckless drivers and make people aware that they need to be alert when operating a motor vehicle.

Topics:  Car Accident, Trucking Accident, Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Manslaughter

Published In: Criminal Law Updates, Personal Injury Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Howard Ankin | Attorney Advertising

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