To face a charge of vehicular homicide in Tennessee, there are a number of different penalties. Circumstance matters in a vehicular homicide case. For instance, a reckless driving is a class C felony whereas aggravated vehicular homicide is a class A felony. The circumstances surrounding the accident and your behavior during the accident matter in these cases. When charged, you may even be able to negotiate a lesser charge or penalty.
To face charges of vehicular homicide, you have to cause another person’s death through reckless driving. For instance, you may have:
- Sped in a construction zone
- Drove dangerously
- Used alcohol or drugs before driving
- Raced with other vehicles
Each of these behaviors may hold a variety of charges. When charged with vehicular homicide, it is up to the prosecution to prove that you acted recklessly and that your actions led to another person’s death. To act recklessly means that you know you act dangerously and you understand the risks involved but still take part in the behavior. Whenever you drive over the legal limit of intoxication, you essentially take a risk. A BAC over 0.08% can result in a vehicular homicide charge if a person dies due to the accident.
In criminal cases, including vehicular homicide, you can settle the case before you get to court by negotiating a plea bargain. A plea bargain normally provides the defendant with an opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge. In addition, the prosecution will often recommend that the sentencing is far more lenient than it would have been if the case went to trial.
Often, when you enter negotiations for a plea bargain, the entire process remains private until you finish your plea. When it comes to sentencing, you may receive a lesser penalty, but in terms of your sentence, it is ultimately the judge’s decision.