Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
What Happens When My DUI Leads to Someone's Death

What Happens When My DUI Leads to Someone's Death

Although a DUI alone is a serious criminal offense, a DUI resulting in someone else’s death is much more severe. In Kansas, there are several laws in the criminal code under which a motorist can be charged and held accountable for the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are facing any one of these charges, it is in your best interest to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

The following are three possible charges based on DUI causing death:

  1. Aggravated Battery While DUI – This occurs when a DUI results in an accident which causes a bodily injury. However, this may be the prosecutor’s initial charge when injuries are so severe that the victim is in critical condition and/or on life support. In order to be convicted of aggravated battery while DUI, the prosecutor must prove that the driver was impaired and that there was an accident which involved serious bodily harm. Conviction results in a Level 7 felony.
  2. Vehicle Homicide – Kansas law defines vehicle homicide as “[t]he killing of a human being committed by the operation of an automobile, airplane, motorboat or other motor vehicle in a manner which creates an unreasonable risk of injury to the person or property of another and which constitutes a material deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would observe under the same circumstances.” Material deviation from a reasonable standard of care means conduct amounting to more than just ordinary negligence, but less than gross negligence. The prosecution must prove that the driver was intoxicated in order to meet the “more than ordinary negligence” standard. This criminal offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
  3. Involuntary manslaughter – Involuntary manslaughter is defined as taking of a human life in a “reckless” manner or during the act of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is considered the most serious charge for a DUI resulting in death. It is classified as a Level 4 felony offense.

Regardless of the severity of the possible charges or penalties, the most important takeaway to remember is that driving DUI always puts other lives in dangers, whether or not the prosecutor claims you understood the risks. Do not hesitate to get skilled and knowledgeable legal representation on your side immediately.

If you have been arrested for DUI causing death in Kansas or Missouri, request a free consultation with our Kansas City criminal defense attorney at Stein Law, LLC today.


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