Portland Vehicular Homicide Attorneys
Defending Clients against Potential Measure 11 Charges
Under Oregon law, vehicular homicide cases that do not rise to the level of murder charges are ranked at three levels of severity. Manslaughter in the first degree (Manslaughter I), manslaughter in the second degree (Manslaughter II), and criminally negligent homicide are the three categories. The differences in the seriousness of these offenses depend on the state of mind of the defendant at the time the alleged crime occurred. 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 lengthy sentence, a person convicted of these charges will have a lifelong felony criminal record and may face a temporary, or 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 Portland vehicular homicide 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.
We Can Help You with All Your Legal Needs
At Kohlmetz, Steen & Hanrahan, P.C., our Portland vehicular homicide attorneys have more than 60 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 that 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 work hard to keep the matter in the juvenile system and out of the adult system if at all possible.
Call Our Portland Vehicular Homicide Attorneys
Our law firm is committed to providing high-quality legal representation at reasonable rates. We are also dedicated to discretion and protecting our clients' privacy to the greatest extent possible as they move through the criminal justice system. Call us today at (503) 303-0771 or feel free to contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.