24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

What are the Consequences of Vehicular Manslaughter in Nevada? Criminal Lawyer

What are the Consequences of Vehicular Manslaughter in Nevada? Criminal Lawyer

Causing a deadly car accident is a nightmare scenario that no one wants to imagine. But if it happens, you could face serious criminal charges like vehicular manslaughter in Nevada. I know this is really scary to think about. As a criminal defense lawyer in Las Vegas, I’ve seen how devastating these accidents can be for everyone involved. My goal here is to walk you through the legal consequences in a simple way, so you understand what happens if you cause a deadly wreck in NV.

An Overview of Vehicular Manslaughter Laws in Nevada

Let’s start with the basics. Vehicular manslaughter is covered under NRS 484B.657 in Nevada law. This crime means you caused someone’s death through negligence (carelessness) while driving a vehicle.

It’s considered a misdemeanor, not a felony. The possible penalties are:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension for 1 year

Now those don’t sound fun at all. But it’s still better than a felony charge with years in state prison.

What Does “Negligence” Mean in These Cases?

When it comes to vehicular manslaughter, negligence means you failed to use reasonable care while driving, and someone died as a result. Here are some examples that could lead to a negligence charge:

  • Speeding
  • Running a red light or stop sign
  • Changing lanes unsafely
  • Using your cell phone while driving
  • Anything else considered careless driving

Basically if your actions behind the wheel caused the deadly collision, then you were probably negligent.

But negligence doesn’t require intent or malice. It’s not the same as intentionally wanting to hurt someone. Negligence means you should have known better but you made a mistake that had grave consequences.

What If I Was Under the Influence When I Caused a Fatal Crash?

Now this changes things quite a bit. If you caused a deadly DUI accident in Nevada, you could face additional charges beyond vehicular manslaughter:

  • DUI resulting in death – Category B felony with 2-20 years in prison
  • Vehicular homicide – Category A felony with 10-25 years in prison

Vehicular homicide is the most serious DUI offense under NRS 484C.130. It applies if you:

  • Were under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Caused an accident that killed someone
  • Showed “substantial negligence” while driving

Substantial negligence means more than simple carelessness. Things like speeding 20+ mph over the limit or weaving recklessly in and out of traffic could qualify.

So in DUI cases, vehicular manslaughter takes a backseat to the more serious homicide and DUI charges.

What Defenses Could Potentially Beat These Charges?

Let’s say the unthinkable happens and you get charged with vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide in NV. What defense options could get the charges reduced or dismissed?

Here are some possibilities:

  • You weren’t the actual cause of the accident – If something else caused the collision like bad weather, poor road conditions, or the victim’s own actions, then you shouldn’t be held criminally liable.
  • It was a true accident – If it was just an accident that could have happened to any reasonable driver, then there was no criminal negligence on your part.
  • The victim contributed to the accident – If the pedestrian, bicyclist, or other driver was partially at fault due to their own negligence, then you shouldn’t shoulder all the blame.
  • You weren’t under the influence – In DUI cases, if there’s no convincing evidence you were over the legal BAC limit, then the more serious DUI and vehicular homicide charges could get tossed out.
  • The police made procedural errors – If the cops didn’t properly handle the accident investigation and made crucial mistakes, the charges against you could potentially get dismissed.

A skilled Nevada DUI defense lawyer will thoroughly examine the evidence and look for any viable defenses to beat the charges. Don’t just plead guilty without exploring your options first.

What Happens if I’m Convicted of Vehicular Manslaughter in Nevada?

If you end up convicted of vehicular manslaughter, here’s a quick rundown of what happens next:

  • You’ll be sentenced to up to 6 months in county jail.
  • You’ll pay fines up to $1,000. The judge determines your exact fine amount based on factors like your income level and history.
  • Your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year. You can possibly get a restricted license, but only for things like work, school, or medical needs – not normal driving.
  • You’ll have a misdemeanor on your criminal record. This can impact future employment, housing, etc.
  • You may have to attend traffic school or undergo counseling. This depends on the judge’s orders.
  • You’ll face civil liability. The victim’s family can sue you for substantial monetary damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Increased insurance rates. A vehicular manslaughter conviction will make your auto insurance super expensive for years.

Plus you’ll have to live with the guilt of causing someone’s death. That’s a heavy burden to carry emotionally. This really underscores the importance of driving carefully and making smart choices behind the wheel.

What Should I Do if I’m Facing Charges for a Deadly Crash?

If you find yourself in this nightmare scenario facing vehicular manslaughter or homicide charges, here are some tips:

  • Don’t flee the scene! I know your instinct will be to panic. But leaving the scene will only lead to additional criminal charges. Stay there and call 911.
  • Don’t talk to the police without a lawyer present. Be polite, but don’t admit fault or discuss the accident details. That can only hurt your case later on.
  • Hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. The legal consequences are extremely serious, so you need professional guidance to protect your rights.
  • Follow your lawyer’s advice about whether to take a plea bargain or go to trial. There are strategic pros and cons to each option.
  • Enroll in counseling or a support group. The emotional trauma of causing a fatal collision can be overwhelming. Seek help to process your feelings.
  • Lean on your support system. Talk to close friends and family who can comfort you during this difficult time.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of vehicular manslaughter laws in NV. While scary to think about, arming yourself with knowledge is the best way to stay safe and protect your future. Drive carefully out there, and never get behind the wheel impaired. You hold people’s lives in your hands every time you drive.

More Resources:

Schedule Your Consultation Now