Ohio has three types of vehicular homicide: “aggravated vehicular homicide,” “vehicular homicide,” and “vehicular manslaughter.”
In Ohio, a person can be convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide for causing the death of another person while:
Ohio defines vehicular homicide as causing the death of another person while:
And vehicular manslaughter is where a driver kills another person committing a traffic violation that is a minor misdemeanor. Speeding and running a stop sign or red light are examples of minor misdemeanors.
Negligence. Generally, negligence involves the failure of a person, because of a substantial lapse of care, to perceive or avoid a risk that the person's conduct may cause or may be of a certain nature.
Recklessness. Recklessness is a more culpable mental than negligence. A person acts recklessly when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the person's conduct is likely to cause or is likely to be of a certain nature.
Causation. A driver can be convicted of vehicular homicide or manslaughter only if there’s proof that the unlawful driving was a legal cause of the death. In other words, there needs to be a direct link between the defendant’s driving and the death.
(Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § § 2901.22, 2903.06 (2017).)
The sentencing laws for vehicular homicide and manslaughter are complicated. But generally, the possible penalties for a conviction are:
(Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § § 2903.06, 2929.14, 2929.18, 2929.21, 4510.02 (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.
Vehicular homicide and manslaughter are serious crimes. If you’ve been arrested for vehicular homicide or manslaughter—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.