Washington D.C.'s Negligent (Vehicular) Homicide Laws and Penalties

In the District of Columbia, a motorist who drives carelessly, negligently, or recklessly and causes the death of another person will likely face negligent homicide charges.

In Washington D.C., causing the death of another person in a car crash can result in serious criminal charges. This article explains Washington D.C.'s vehicular homicide law and the penalties you'll face for a conviction.

How Does Washington D.C. Define Vehicular Homicide (Negligent Homicide)?

Washington D.C. defines "negligent homicide" (sometimes called "vehicular homicide") as causing the death of another person while driving in a "careless, reckless, or negligent manner."

Washington D.C.'s Definition of Negligence

To be convicted of negligent homicide, the driver must have been at least negligent. A person acts with negligence by failing to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person would under like circumstances.

Washington D.C.'s Law Requires Proof of "Causation" for a Vehicular Homicide Conviction

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

Washington D.C.'s Negligent (Vehicular) Homicide Penalties

The consequences of a negligent homicide conviction depend on the circumstances. But generally, negligent homicide is a felony and carries up to five years in prison and/or a maximum of $250,000 in fines. The motorist may additionally face license suspension for the conviction.

And a negligent homicide conviction will add points to a motorist's driving record. Accumulating eight or more points within two years can also lead to license suspension.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney

Negligent homicide is a serious criminal charge. If you've been arrested for negligent 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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