Attorney on Call 24/7
Call today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney.

(718) 261-5600

Free Consultation

Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

Name* Phone* Email* Subject* Message*

Vehicular Homicide

Car accidents are a daily occurrence in New York, and can happen to almost anybody. Sometimes these accidents result in the death of another person. Even if the death was the result of a mistake or accident, it is still possible to be charged with a criminal vehicular offense, including vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide. The penalties for a conviction for vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter can be severe and result in prison sentences and/or fines.

New York considers motor vehicles, cars, boats, vessels, public vessels, snowmobiles, and all terrain vehicles to be vehicles for the purposes of charging vehicular manslaughter or homicide.

It is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your best interests when charged with a driving offense, including vehicular manslaughter and vehicular homicide.

Queens Vehicular Homicide Defense Attorney

Contact the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner if you have been charged with a vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide in Queens or New York City. Rochelle S. Berliner is dedicated to finding the best possible outcome in your situation, and will make every effort to fight the allegations against you.

Call 718-261-5600 or send an online message for a consultation about your alleged vehicular homicide offense.


Vehicular Homicide Information Center


Back to Top

Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree

According to N.Y. Penal Law § 125.12, a person can be charged of this crime if they commit certain motor vehicle violations, vessel or boat operation violations or snowmobile operation violations and cause the death of another person due to intoxication or impairment.

Motor vehicle, boating and snowmobile violations that can lead to a vehicular manslaughter charge can include:

  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI);
  • Per Se DWI;
  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) by Drugs;
  • DWAI by the Combined Influence of Drugs, or Alcohol and Drugs;
  • Operation of a Vessel While Intoxicated;
  • Operation of a Public Vessel With a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.04 or More;
  • Operation of a Vessel, Other Than a Public Vessel, With a BAC of .08% Or More;
  • Operation of a Vessel While Ability Impaired by Drugs;
  • Operation of a Snowmobile With a BAC Of 0.08 or More;
  • Operation of a Snowmobile While Intoxicated; or
  • Operation of a Snowmobile While Ability Impaired by Drugs.

Additionally, if someone causes the death of another person by driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol that weighs more than 18,000 pounds and contains flammable gas, radioactive materials or explosives, and the death is caused by the impairment and the gas, material or explosives, they can be charged with this degree of vehicular manslaughter.

There is a rebuttable presumption that if someone causes the death of another person while operating a vehicle intoxicated or impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both, the death of the other person resulted from the impairment or intoxication.
A conviction for vehicular manslaughter in the second degree is punishable as a Class D felony.


Back to Top

Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree

Under N.Y. Penal Law § 125.13, a person can be charged with this offense if they commit vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, and:

  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter with a BAC of .18% or more;
  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter while knowing their driver's license or driving privileges have been suspended or revoked due to a conviction in New York for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or a refusal to submit;
  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter while knowing their driver's license or driving privileges have been suspended or revoked due to a conviction in another state for an offense that would constitute operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New York;
  • Has a previous conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol within the past ten years;
  • Has previous conviction for vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault or vehicular homicide in New York or another state;
  • Causes the death or more than one person; or
  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter with a child 15 years old or younger as a passenger in the vehicle and causes the death of the child.

There is a rebuttable presumption that if someone causes the death of another person while operating a vehicle intoxicated or impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both, the death of the other person resulted from the impairment or intoxication.
A conviction for vehicular manslaughter in the first degree is punishable as a Class C felony.


Back to Top

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide

As defined in N.Y. Penal Law § 125.14, a person can be charged with this offense if they engage in reckless driving and commit vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, and:

  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter with a BAC of .18% or more;
  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter while knowing their driver's license or driving privileges have been suspended or revoked due to a conviction in New York for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or a refusal to submit;
  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter while knowing their driver's license or driving privileges have been suspended or revoked due to a conviction in another state for an offense that would constitute operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in New York;
  • Has a previous conviction for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol within the past ten years;
  • Has previous conviction for vehicular manslaughter, vehicular assault or vehicular homicide in New York or another state;
  • Causes the death or more than one person;
  • Causes the death of one person and the serious physical injury of at least one other person; or
  • Commits the vehicular manslaughter with a child 15 years old or younger as a passenger in the vehicle and causes the death of the child.

There is a rebuttable presumption that if someone causes the death of another person while operating a vehicle intoxicated or impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both, the death of the other person resulted from the impairment or intoxication.
A conviction for aggravated vehicular homicide is punishable as a Class B felony.


Back to Top

Penalties in New York for Vehicular Homicide

Articles 70 and 80 of the New York Penal Law provide the sentencing guidelines for the maximum penalties a convicted criminal vehicular offender can receive. However, the length of imprisonment and/or fines may vary depending on the severity of the offense, whether the offender was a juvenile, youthful offender or persistent felony offender, and the number of prior convictions the offender has.

  • Class B felonies can lead to imprisonment for up to 25 years and/or a fixed fine not exceeding $5,000 or double the amount of the defendant's gain from committing the offense.
  • Class C felony convictions can result in a prison sentence no more than 15 years and/or a fixed fine up to $5,000 or double the amount of the defendant's gain from committing the offense.
  • Class D felonies can result in imprisonment for up seven years and/or a fixed fine not more than $5,000 or double the amount of the defendant's gain from committing the offense.

Back to Top

Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner | Queens, NY Vehicular Homicide Lawyer

If you have been charged with vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide in any of the boroughs of New York City, including Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan, call the Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner at 718-261-5600. Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner is knowledgeable in all areas of New York's driving laws, and is dedicated to helping you avoid serious penalties and repercussions.

Call 718-261-5600 or submit an online form today to schedule a free consultation about your alleged vehicular homicide.

Free Consultation

Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

Name* Phone* Email* Subject* Message*

Proud Member of

New York State Association
of Criminal Defense Lawyers

NORML
Legal Committee

National Police
Accountability Project

National Association
of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Featured In

The Huffington Post WABC7 New York Post New York Daily News MSNBC

Find me online

Pay Online

Click the “Pay Now” link below to submit your payment.

If you already have a Paypal account, you will be prompted to log in after clicking below. If you do not have an account, you will have the option to pay by credit card or set up an account that allows you to charge to a card or transfer money directly from your bank account.

Make a secure payment online with PayPal