April 25, 2013

Southern Maryland Woman Charged with Criminally Negligent Manslaughter

A Southern Maryland motorist who was driving when her car crashed, killing her front-seat passenger, has a scheduled appearance in a St. Mary’s Courtroom to be arraigned on a charge of criminally negligent manslaughter. Courtesy of somdnews.com, the charge stems from a car crash last year on North Sandgates Road.

A Mechanicsville area resident, age 22, was behind the wheel of a 1996 Dodge Intrepid on April 28 when the vehicle veered off the road and crashed into two utility poles. The crash occurred at 2:26 a.m. The driver’s 23-year-old passenger, riding in the front seat, also from Mechanicsville, died from the injuries she received. The driver and an additional passenger were thrown from the vehicle, found conscious nearby and were transported to a local hospital.

The criminal charge of negligent manslaughter was not, according to Laura Caspar, St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney, due to the presence of alcohol in her blood. The speed the car was traveling was instead the basis of the criminal charge. Criminally negligent manslaughter is a misdemeanor version of Maryland’s felony vehicular manslaughter law.

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March 13, 2013

Charles County Man Indicted on Vehicular Manslaughter Charges for Death of Passenger

A Charles County man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter and negligent homicide while under the influence of alcohol stemming from a February 5, 2012 crash in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. According to Maryland police, he was driving a pickup truck traveling on New Market Turner Road heading toward Route 235 when the truck veered out of control, crossed the center line of the highway and struck a tree near the Korner Karryout convenience store. The male passenger in the truck, a 32-year-old Mechanicsville resident, was killed.

As reported by SoMdNews.com, the man charged with the crimes had a reported blood alcohol level of .14 percent — close to twice the legal limit. St. Mary’s Assistant State’s Attorney Jaymi Sterling said that the investigation conducted by police also alleged the vehicle was traveling over 90 miles per hour. That was reportedly confirmed by both a speed analysis and data from an air-bag control module.

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February 1, 2013

Negligent Manslaughter and/or Homicide by Motor Vehicle under Maryland Law

Vehicular manslaughter is a serious charge, but depending on the circumstances of the incident, the crime may be considered a misdemeanor or felony. If you have been accused of vehicular manslaughter in Maryland it is important that you take immediate action to protect your legal rights by consulting with an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. There are different types of vehicular manslaughter that you may be charged with and an experienced defense attorney will be able to build a specific defense against the charges you are facing and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

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December 27, 2012

Mother, Daughter from Maryland Killed in Truck Crash, Driver Held for Trial

A 44-year-old long haul truck driver from Sacramento is being held for trial on two counts of vehicular homicide in the deaths of a mother and daughter from Maryland. As reported by Post-Gazette.com, the fatal accident occurred the morning of November 24 in South Strabane, PA, east of the junction with southbound I-79. The truck driver was behind the wheel of a 77,000-pound tractor-trailer traveling west when he reportedly crossed the center grass median and collided with the vehicle of a 57-year-old mother and her 21-year-old daughter, both from Hughesville, MD.

The truck driver told police he may have fallen asleep at the wheel prior to the Washington County accident, but also told investigators he may have been awake at the time of the crash, indicating that he may have known what happened. A district judge is holding the 44-year-old driver on two counts of vehicular homicide in the deaths, and prosecutors have discovered discrepancies in the driver’s log books, showing he was traveling at the time the log book shows “sleep was occurring.”

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November 27, 2012

Driver Receives Prison Sentence for Fatal Callaway Crash that Claimed Two Lives

A judge recently found a 35-year-old driver guilty of two counts of vehicular manslaughter for a fatal car accident in Callaway that left two young women dead. According to a SoMDNews.com report, the August 2011 accident took the lives of a 22-year-old woman from Lexington Park and a 22-year-old woman from Leonardtown. The convicted driver’s attorney claimed that the man suffered from a hypoglycemic condition as a result of a lifelong struggle with diabetes and did not know what was happening at the time of the accident.

The Prince George’s County judge stated that the man was not being punished for his medical condition but the reckless driving and speeding that led to the collision.

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March 19, 2012

Pasadena Man Faces Criminal Charges in Connection to Glen Burnie Car Accident

According to The Baltimore Sun, a Pasadena man has officially been charged with negligent manslaughter with an automobile for his role in the death of another driver in November, 2011. Police reports indicate the 25-year-old was driving westbound on Route 100 in Glen Burnie at approximately 7:10 p.m. on November 28 when he proceeded to cut off several drivers. The man struck the back left side of a Ford F-150 with his 2005 BMW, then hit the back of the 66-year-old victim’s Nissan Sentra. The Sentra driver, a resident of Fort Washington, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment, but tragically died later as a result of his injuries.

In addition to the charges of negligent manslaughter and reckless driving, the Pasadena man also faces a slew of other Maryland criminal charges, including negligent driving, unsafe lane changing, driving vehicle on highway at speed exceeding limit, and following a vehicle too closely. According to online court records, the man was charged with a number of vehicular offenses for an unrelated crash that happened two months after this fatal accident, including driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The 25-year-old’s arraignment is scheduled for March 19, with a trial set for June 28 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

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March 14, 2012

What is Vehicular Homicide in Maryland?

The Maryland crime of vehicular homicide is committed when a person is killed through the use of a car or other vehicle. Any individual convicted of vehicular homicide will likely face severe penalties, including time in prison, which may be increased depending on the circumstances of the crime. A vehicular homicide occurs when a motor vehicle is the instrument or tool that causes a person’s death, and the term “motor vehicle” generally includes any vehicle designed to transport people and property on public roads. Examples of motor vehicles include:

  • Cars;
  • SUVs (sport utility vehicles);
  • Motorcycles;
  • Trucks or buses; or
  • Vans and mini-vans.

In general, snowmobiles, skateboards, watercraft, and farm tractors are a few examples of things not considered to be motor vehicles. Vehicular homicide can typically be prosecuted anywhere within the state, even if the crime occurred on public property.

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May 11, 2010

Speeding Drug Suspects Accused of Vehicular Homicide

Recently, two drug suspects allegedly caused an accident that led to the death of an 86-year-old man after they reportedly fled police officers who were attempting to stop their vehicle for questioning. According to a Baltimore Sun report, officers in plain clothes approached a black Acura based on a suspicion of drug activity after seeing a man whom they believe conducted a drug transaction. Allegedly, the suspects were in the vehicle.

When the police officers attempted to box in the Acura, the suspects allegedly sped away from the scene. The officers hurried to their vehicles and an immediate pursuit followed.

The police believe the Acura eventually crashed into the elderly couple’s vehicle and later crashed into a fire hydrant. The impact of the collision caused the vehicle of the elderly couple to collide into the home of a nearby resident. The 86-year-old man was taken to the hospital where he later died. He was the father of a city patrol officer. The police declined to release the patrol officer’s name. The elderly woman who accompanied the elderly man was listed in serious condition.

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December 1, 2009

Fatal DWI Crash Leads to Sentence of 1-3 Years in State Prison

According to a recent lohud.com article, a 24-year-old former all-star basketball athlete has been sentenced to one to three years in a state prison for causing a drunken driving accident in New York that killed her friend, Lisa Marie Mornay. Meghan Wood, a 24-year-old former basketball player and leading scorer her senior year at Loyola College in Maryland, was sentenced on November 4, 2009.

The New York State Judge handling the case could have sentenced Wood to five years "shock" probation in which she would serve the first six months in jail but he wanted his sentence to be a deterrent to others who would drive drunk. At her sentencing, Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler chastised Wood saying, “You endangered every single person on the road that morning. I can’t forget that; I can’t put that out of my mind.”

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September 29, 2009

Vehicular Homicide and the Consequences of a Hit-and-Run Accident

A recent article about a man who may be charged for fleeing the scene of an auto accident that killed a pedestrian in Anne Arundel County raises many questions regarding the legal penalties surrounding vehicular manslaughter, especially when such an act takes place in a hit-and-run situation and/or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In this particular incident, police have said that prescription drug use may have been a contributing factor that led the 26-year old driver to lose control of his Dodge Caravan, strike a woman that had been standing on a nearby sidewalk and drive away from the scene. The suspected vehicle driven during the accident has been found by law enforcement officers.

Although the article didn’t specify the exact charges being brought against the driver in this incident, it can be speculated, based on the circumstances surrounding this case, that the driver may be charged with vehicular manslaughter and operating a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner. The penalties for these charges can include significant prison time and hefty fines. If it is determined that the driver was operating his vehicle under the influence of drugs, additional prison time could be added. These charges could all be on top of other criminal charges or traffic violations associated with a particular incident, such as driving with a suspended license. Being suspected of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death may also contribute to an increase in punishment.

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