Among all other homicides, Vehicular Manslaughter is one of the most common occurrences. Every year in Canada, there is a huge amount of killing happens due to road accidents. The rate is 1.68 per 100,000 people. A very concerning picture indeed.
But what does the law says about this kind of manslaughter? And what are the penalties? Let’s discuss all that about vehicular manslaughter and more. Read on.
What is a Vehicular Manslaughter?
There are many kinds of road accidents. The first question is, Are all motor vehicle accidents considered homicides?
The answer is: No, not all accidents are vehicular manslaughter.
According to the dangerous driving criminal code, if the cases have illegal and negligent conduction, they will only be considered a crime. To be more specific, it is considered Vehicular Homicide whenever a person is killed by driving a motor vehicle negligently and/or illegally.
But you have to be vigilant! This means that it is possible to face criminal charges even if no law has been broken because negligence or recklessness is also considered a cause in this type of crime.
What is Considered Negligent Driving?
It is considered negligence in Canada when you do not assume the proper responsibilities of driving a car. These responsibilities include:
- Respect the traffic laws
- Obey the signs
- Drive safely
- Pay attention when driving
- Drive in a suitable physical and mental state
Examples of causes of Vehicular Manslaughter due to negligent driving,
Even something as small as deliberately taking your eyes off the road for any distraction is enough to justify criminal charges. But there are many other possible causes.
Here are some of them:
- Use the phone while driving
- Driving drowsy
- Illegal races
- Driving under the influence of alcohol
- Running away from the police or a crime scene
- Change the music on the radio
- Eat while driving
- Facing Vehicular Homicide Charges in Riverside
In Canada, the occurrence of death in a car accident is not always a crime. Suppose you are involved in a dangerous car accident, and a person has died. This does not mean that you will automatically be charged with committing a crime.
You cannot be convicted of any crime until you are proven guilty. The accusing party must prove that you were involved in inappropriate conduct while driving the vehicle.
Vehicular Manslaughter Sentence in Canada
In Canada, Vehicular manslaughter can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. And in turn, the type of act that caused the accident is considered negligence or an illegal act. So, if you are convicted of impaired driving that causes death, you may be imprisoned for how long?
Minimum Sentence for Manslaughter in Canada:
There is no minimum set of sentences for manslaughter in Canada. However, if the death is caused by careless driving, the penalty will be a 2-year jail-time with 2000$ to 50000$.
Maximum Sentence for Manslaughter in Canada:
Involuntary vehicular manslaughter in Canada is a felony of the second degree. A conviction for a crime like this is punishable by up to a maximum of 10 years in prison. Also, it is a non-parole sentence.
It is important to keep in mind that the prosecutor has to prove his case beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor has to prove that the accused person was aware of the risk and still ignores it.
A person can claim that they were unaware of the risk. They will try to get the case down to criminally negligent homicide because it is not as serious a crime as vehicular manslaughter.
Compensation You Can get after Losing Someone in A Vehicular Manslaughter
If the court accepts the death as vehicular manslaughter, the remaining family member can claim compensation. Depending on the situation, the family member can recover some damages. She/he is entitled to-
- He can get full or partial medical expenses. This expense includes an emergency ambulance, medical cost, hospitalization cost, and other expenses that occurred due to the accident.
- He will get compensation if he can prove that he has lost his companion and his consortium.
- He is also entitled to the loss of wages and benefits. These will include the dead person’s insurance benefits and other benefits.
- The victim’s funeral and burial expenses are also to be compensated.
- The victim’s family members are entitled to inconvenience benefits too—for example, home maintenance, childcare, or home maintenance expenses.
- The amount of pain and suffering experienced by the victim is not comparable to anything. However, the family can get a compensation amount for this too.
Obviously, money can bring back the loved ones who have left. However, this compensation will help to reduce the amount of suffering and inconvenience the family suffers.
Defense in a Vehicular Homicide Case
What can you do when you face charges of vehicular manslaughter?
Always remember that you have the right to raise a defense. And also, remember that it can reduce the charges or eliminate them. Here are some strategies that can be followed:
- Show evidence that proves your innocence of any negligent or illegal conduct, that is, that you are falsely accused.
- You could show that the cause was some other external factor such as traffic, weather, or a mechanical failure.
- Explain or justify that the behavior you had was the most appropriate possible according to the circumstances that arose.
- An experienced criminal defense attorney will know much better about which way to go to handle hefty charges. He can anticipate potential barriers and ensure the best possible outcome in your case.
Nothing can make up for the death of a loved one. The impacts of traumatic accidents are far-reaching and can be overwhelming for those left behind. It is at least possible that the responsible party will compensate you for your negligence and the loss you have suffered.
If you’ve lost a loved one to Vehicular Manslaughter, you can seek justice according to Murder Law in Canada with a lawyer.