DUI Resulting in Death Crimes – Laws & Punishments

Sometimes a DUI results in a death. The following crimes can be charged if a death results from an accident in which the police believe the driver who caused the accident was under the influence: Negligent Homicide, Second Degree Manslaughter, First Degree Manslaughter, and Second Degree Murder.

Negligent Homicide

oklahoma negligent homicide dui death defense attorneyNegligent homicide in Oklahoma requires:

  1. the death of a human;
  2. caused by the defendant’s driving a vehicle upon a highway;
  3. in reckless disregard of the safety of others;
  4. the death occurred within a year of the infliction of the injury causing death; and
  5. the defendant was 16 or older.

“Highway” means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.

“Reckless disregard of the safety of others” is the omission to do something that a reasonably careful person would do, or the lack of the usual and ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions.

Because negligent homicide doesn’t apply to conduct occurring on private property, such as a private parking lot or a private road, then reckless conduct in operating a vehicle that results in death in these private places should be prosecuted as manslaughter in the second degree.

This law controls all highway vehicular homicide cases, except those where it’s proven that the defendant was driving under the influence, or where the defendant’s conduct is so willful and wanton that it constitutes murder in the second degree.

This crime is a misdemeanor. The maximum punishment in jail is one year. The maximum fine is $1,000.

In addition to the fine or penalty, the court must order the defendant to attend a driver improvement or defensive driving course. If the defendant received a conviction for any traffic offense within the three years immediately preceding the conviction for negligent homicide, the fine will be doubled

Your license will be revoked if you get convicted of negligent homicide.

Charged with Negligent Homicide in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Source: 47 O.S. 11-903

Second Degree Manslaughter

Second degree manslaughter in Oklahoma requires:

  1. the death of a human;
  2. the death was unlawful; and
  3. the death was caused by the culpable negligence of the defendant.

“Culpable negligence” means the omission to do something that a reasonably careful person would do, or
the lack of the usual ordinary care and caution in the performance of an act usually and ordinarily exercised by a person under similar circumstances and conditions.

Not only culpable negligence, but also a direct and proximate causal link between the defendant’s conduct and the consequent death, must be established.

By its literal terms, this law doesn’t apply where the defendant performs an unlawful act that causes the death of the deceased. Under these circumstances, the defendant’s conduct might constitute felony-murder or misdemeanor-manslaughter, both of which are excluded from the statutory definition of manslaughter in the second degree.

Punishment

This crime is a felony. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is 2-4 years. The maximum punishment in jail is one year. The maximum fine is $1,000. This is considered a violent crime in Oklahoma.

Charged with Second Degree Manslaughter in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 716 & 722

First Degree Manslaughter

Homicide is manslaughter in the first degree when the following occurs:

  1. the death of a human;
  2. occurring as a direct result of an act or event which happened in the commission of a misdemeanor;
  3. caused by the defendant while in the commission of a misdemeanor (DUI);

This crime is a felony. The minimum punishment in the Department of Corrections is four years. This is considered a violent crime in Oklahoma. This is an 85% crime.

Charged with First Degree Manslaughter in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 711 & 715

Second Degree Murder

Second degree murder in Oklahoma occurs when there’s:

  1. the death of a human;
  2. caused by conduct that was imminently dangerous to another person;
  3. the conduct was that of the defendant;
  4. the conduct evinced a depraved mind in extreme disregard of human life;
  5. the conduct is not done with the intention of taking the life of any particular individual.

A person evinces a “depraved mind” when he or she engages in imminently dangerous conduct with contemptuous and reckless disregard of, and in total indifference to, the life and safety of another. “Imminently dangerous conduct” means conduct that creates what a reasonable person
would realize as an immediate and extremely high degree of risk of death to another person.

This crime is a felony. The range of punishment in the Department of Corrections is ten years-life. This is considered a violent crime in Oklahoma. This is an 85% crime.

Charged with Second Degree Murder in Oklahoma? Get a free case consultation.

Sources: 21 O.S. §§ 701.8 & 701.9

Current as of April 9, 2020. Laws are subject to change at any time. See the linked statutes above for the most current law.

Charged with negligent homicide in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal  defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC for a free case consultation.

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.® 405-633-3420