Homicide by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious charge in Pennsylvania. The offense carries with it significant legal consequences. Making sure that you have an experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney by your side is of utmost importance. You don’t want to face the risk of a mandatory minimum sentence alone.
Pennsylvania law under 75 Pa.C.S. Section 3735 holds that a person is guilty of Homicide by Vehicle While DUI if they unintentionally cause the death of another person while operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. In cases where more than one person has lost their life, the district attorney can file separate counts of Homicide While Under the Influence for each fatality.
In Pennsylvania DUI cases, a conviction for Homicide by Vehicle While DUI, as a second-degree felony, carries a minimum prison term of three years. However, the judge has the right to impose a sentence of up to ten years in prison. The judge may also impose a fine of up to $25,000 for each count of this offense.
Related Article: What Are PA’s Penalties for Homicide By Vehicle While DUI?
The Significance of Causation
In the realm of Homicide by Vehicle While DUI cases, causation emerges as the linchpin of the prosecution’s argument. It’s not merely a matter of proving impairment; it’s about proving that this impairment unequivocally led to a tragic accident resulting in loss of life. This legal principle hinges on establishing a clear and direct connection between the defendant’s actions and the fatal outcome.
Causation, in legal terms, delves into the intricate web of events and circumstances that ended up in the accident. It requires a meticulous examination of the sequence of facts leading up to the incident. This includes scrutinizing factors like blood alcohol concentration, vehicular speed, weather conditions, and any potential contributing factors from the deceased party.
Challenges in Establishing Causation
Proving causation beyond a reasonable doubt is no small feat. It demands a thorough and comprehensive analysis of all available evidence. This may involve accident reconstruction specialists, toxicology experts, and eyewitness testimonies. Additionally, it necessitates a deep understanding of the nuances of DUI laws and their application in Pennsylvania.
Given the complexity of causation, there are several potential avenues for your defense attorney to explore. This may involve challenging the reliability of certain pieces of evidence, questioning the accuracy of accident reconstruction, or presenting alternative explanations for the sequence of events. In some cases, it may also involve showing that factors not related to the accused’s impairment played a significant role in the accident.
Expert witnesses often play a crucial role in establishing or disputing causation. Their specialized knowledge can shed light on critical aspects such as the impact of intoxication on driving abilities, the physics of the accident, or even the role of external factors like road conditions.
Defending Against a Homicide by Vehicle While DUI Charge
A seasoned defense attorney understands the weight that causation holds in a Homicide by Vehicle While DUI case. They will leave no stone unturned in scrutinizing the prosecution’s case, looking for any weaknesses or gaps in their argument regarding causation. This could involve consulting their own experts, conducting exhaustive investigations, and crafting a compelling narrative that challenges the prosecution’s version of events.
Why Choose Shuttleworth Law P.C.?
Homicide by Vehicle While DUI charges demand the highest level of legal expertise and strategic defense. Proactive and timely legal intervention can make a significant difference. If you or a loved one is facing such charges, don’t face it alone. Contact an experienced Philadelphia Homicide by Vehicle While DUI lawyer at Shuttleworth Law P.C. for a detailed discussion about your case and potential defense strategies.