My cousin killed someone while driving drunk. What will happen to her?
NOLO Driving Law Assistance
Enter the zip code where the incident took place to connect with a lawyer serving that area.
Answer: The penalties for killing someone while driving drunk are quite severe. If you have been accused of killing someone while driving under the influence you will need to know where you stand and you need to understand the consequences of a DUI accident.
What Charges Do You Face?
If death resulted from a drunk driving accident that you caused, needless to say, you can face prison time. Depending on the state in which you reside, and whether or not this is your first offense, some states may hand down a manslaughter charge while others will give you a second or third degree murder charge. In some states, or for a first offense, you might face a reckless endangerment, or vehicular homicide charge. You also face drunk driving or DUI charges as well as the manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter or murder charge.
Depending on the state that you live in and the specific charges, you could face jail time of over a year and fines of at least $1000. Your driver’s license will also be suspended. You will also be expected to go through probation and may be ordered to use a car ignition interlock system. Rehab will also be a reality, as well as possible community service.
Because of the potentially serious nature of the charges against you, it is important to get legal help if you have driven drunk and caused a death. Your lawyer can help you to defend yourself in the best manner possible and can assist you in understanding what consequences you may face.