Defending Clients Against Potential Measure 11 Charges
Under Oregon law vehicular homicide cases which do not rise to the level of murder charges are ranked at three seriousness levels. Manslaughter in the First Degree (Manslaughter I,) Manslaughter in the Second Degree (Manslaughter II,) and Criminally Negligent Homicide. The differences in the seriousness of these offenses hinges on the state of mind of the defendant at the time the alleged crime occurs. Although there are numerous variations, typically Manslaughter I requires a person to act recklessly with an extreme indifference to the value of human life; Manslaughter II requires only that the defendant act recklessly, and Criminally Negligent Homicide requires criminal negligence.
Manslaughter I and Manslaughter II are both Measure 11 offenses. A conviction for Manslaughter I carries a mandatory 10 year prison sentence. A conviction for Manslaughter II carries a mandatory minimum 75 month prison sentence. Criminally Negligent Homicide is not subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Most vehicular homicide cases we see involve allegations of driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, speed racing or other dangerous behavior that leads to tragic consequences. In addition to a long sentence, a person convicted of these charges will have a lifelong felony criminal record, and may face lengthy even lifetime loss of their driving privileges. These accusations often involve individuals who have no previous experience with the criminal justice system. Being charged with this type of offense is usually the result of a bad decision, bad judgment or just bad luck. If this has happened to you, it is critical to have a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the legal process. The differences between Manslaughter I, Manslaughter II and Criminally Negligent Homicide are both extremely complex and nuanced.
At Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C., our Portland attorneys have more than 70 years of collective legal experience. We use this experience to defend clients facing vehicular homicide charges. We urge individuals arrested on suspicion of one of these offenses to call us immediately so that we can begin investigating the accident before evidence disappears or witnesses' memories fade.
These cases can also turn into civil matters, with the families of individuals killed in DUI accidents or other types of fatal accidents seeking awards and damages for the victim's death. In addition to defending our clients against criminal charges, our lawyers can help protect your interests in the event civil litigation arises.
When we advocate for a client, we thoroughly prepare the client and the client's case for trial. This preparation also puts our clients in the best position to negotiate a pre-trial resolution of their case if the client feels a trial is not in their best interest. When a client is a juvenile, we seek to keep the matter in the juvenile system and out of the adult system if at all possible.
Call Our Portland and Beaverton Vehicular Manslaughter Attorneys
Our law firm is committed to providing the highest-quality defense at reasonable rates and is dedicated to protecting our clients' rights. We offer a free initial consultation. Call a Portland vehicular homicide attorney toll free at 1-888-311-2016 or send us an e-mail.