Connecticut’s Negligent-Homicide-With-a-Motor-Vehicle Laws and Penalties

A motorist who drives negligently and causes the death of another person will likely face negligent vehicular homicide charges.

In Connecticut, “negligent homicide with a motor vehicle” (sometimes called “vehicular homicide”) is defined as causing the death of another person while operating a vehicle negligently.

Negligence. Generally, a person acts with negligence by failing to use the care that a reasonable person would under like circumstances. To reach this level, the driver’s conduct doesn’t need to be outrageous: An action that’s merely careless—failing to wear corrective lenses, perhaps—will ordinarily suffice.

Causation. A motorist can’t be convicted of negligent homicide by motor vehicle unless there’s proof that the motorist’s negligence was a legal cause of the death. In other words, there needs to be a direct link between the defendant’s negligent driving and the death.  

(Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-222a (2017).)

Negligent-Homicide-with-a-Motor-Vehicle Penalties

In most cases, a negligent-homicide-with-a-motor-vehicle conviction carries up to six months in jail and/or a maximum $1,000 in fines. However, for violations that are the result of negligent operation of a commercial vehicle, the maximum fine is increased to $2,500 and the offender’s commercial license will be suspended for up to two years.

(Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 14-44k, 14-222a (2017).)

HOW MUCH TIME WOULD YOU ACTUALLY SPEND IN JAIL?

Sentencing law is complex. For example, a statute might list a “minimum” jail sentence that’s longer than the actual amount of time (if any) a defendant will have to spend behind bars. All kinds of factors can affect actual punishment, including credits for good in-custody behavior, “suspended” sentences, and jail-alternative work programs.

If you face criminal charges, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An attorney with command of the rules in your  jurisdiction  will be able to explain the law as it applies to your situation.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney

Negligent homicide with a motor vehicle is a serious charge. If you’ve been arrested for a driving-related homicide—or any other crime—get in contact with a criminal defense attorney right away. The facts of every case are different. An experienced defense attorney can explain how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on the best plan of action.

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