Nevada had 258 traffic deaths in 2012, which is 12 more than in 2011. That's still lower than 2006, when the fatalities reached 432. Additionally, 2012 had fewer serious traffic-related injuries than in 2011.
Nevada has several crimes related to driving fatalities including DUI causing death, vehicular homicide, felony reckless driving, and the Nevada crime of vehicular manslaughter. Vehicular manslaughter occurs when a driver's simple negligence is the proximate cause of another's death. An example is hitting a pedestrian while speeding slightly over the limit.
Two years ago, an eighteen year old Las Vegas man was driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles when he struck and killed a California Highway Patrol officer on the I-15 in Victorville. Las Vegas Defense Group attorney Michael Becker defended him, and on Monday the jury acquitted the defendant of gross vehicular manslaughter. The jury was hung on the charge of vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence while intoxicated, so the judge declared a mistrial on that charge.
The jury deliberated for three and a half days before delivering the verdict. The primary issue was whether the defendant's collision with the officer was the result of marijuana intoxication or having fallen asleep behind the wheel. Las Vegas Defense Group attorney Michael Becker succeeded in convincing the jury that there was a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's impairment from marijuana even though marijuana was found in the defendant's car. The jury also acquitted the defendant of the charge of endangerment of a child in his car.
Las Vegas Defense Group attorney Michael Becker has two decades of experience as a criminal defense attorney. He's argued dozens of jury trials and has won many acquittals and hung juries. He's licensed to practice law in four states including California and Nevada.
Recently, there has been an increase in the amount of traffic-caused pedestrian fatalities in Las Vegas. One included a twelve year old trick-or-treater who was struck by an allegedly drunk driver, and another was a fifty-five year old woman who was crossing the street near the Strip. There have also been similar recent incidents in Henderson and North Las Vegas. The drivers in such cases are typically charged with felony DUI, reckless driving causing death, or vehicular manslaughter.
Nevada vehicular manslaughter law applies when a driver proximately causes the death of another through an act or omission that constitutes simple negligence. Simple negligence is the failure to act like a reasonable driver would act in the same situation. Common examples may include failure to yield, slight speeding, or failing to put on headlights at night.
Defenses to charges of violating Nevada vehicular manslaughter law include that the death was not the proximate cause of the driver's actions or that the victim was more to blame than the driver. This crime is a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Penalties may be doubled if the incident occurred in a work zone.
Two Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers are facing charges stemming from a fatal car crash chase back in May. They reportedly ignored their sergeant's orders to cease their pursuit of the victim's car. One officer is charged with felony reckless driving and violating Nevada vehicular manslaughter law, and the other is charged with misdemeanor reckless driving.
Nevada vehicular manslaughter law applies when a driver proximately causes the death of another person through simple negligence. Simple negligence is a failure to act in a manner that a reasonable person would in the identical situation. Examples include not yielding at a stop sign, slight speeding, or texting while driving.
A conviction for violating Nevada vehicular manslaughter law is punished as a misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. It's different from "vehicular homicide," which are DUI-related fatal car accidents when the driver has three previous DUI convictions. It's also different from Reckless Driving with Death, which is when the death allegedly results from the driver's recklessness (as opposed to negligence).
Last month in Las Vegas, a teenager pleaded guilty to two counts of breaking DUI causing injury or death laws in Nevada. She was allegedly driving intoxicated in Henderson back in February when she ploughed into another car, killing the two people inside. Police say her BAC was .26.
DUI causing injury or death laws in Nevada are meant to punish drunk drivers whose intoxication cause a serious car accident resulting in substantial bodily harm or a fatality. Someone can still be arrested for this offense if their BAC is below 0.08 as long as they’re suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. In order for someone to be convicted of it, the prosecutor has to prove that the drunk driving was the proximate cause of the harm or death.
The penalties for violating DUI causing injury or death laws in Nevada can be very harsh. The prison time ranges from two to twenty years, and the fine is $2,000 to $5,000. The driver also faces license suspension.
Last year in Reno, a teenage boy was arrested on suspicion of breaking the Nevada crime of vehicular manslaughter when his pickup allegedly collided with another pickup during a chase, killing two people in the bed of his truck. All five people in the pickup were ejected when it hit a median not far from the Reno-Tahoe Airport. The driver was also booked for alleged reckless driving, driving without a valid license, and running a red light.
The Nevada crime of vehicular manslaughter is the least serious offense that someone may be convicted of for allegedly causing a fatal car crash. It penalizes driving with “simple negligence,” such as running a red light or driving without headlights. It’s a completely different law from “vehicular homicide,” which is meant to punish drivers who’ve previously been convicted three times of DUI and then cause a fatal DUI accident.
The Nevada crime of vehicular manslaughter is only a misdemeanor. Penalties include up to six months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Their driver’s license will probably also be suspended for one year.