FELONY MOTOR VEHICLE HOMICIDE
The felony portion of this law states that anyone who operates a motor vehicle on a public way either negligently or recklessly so as to endanger the lives and/or safety of the public and in doing so causes the death of another person while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances shall be found guilty. A conviction under this section can lead to a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and at minimum there is a minimum mandatory 1 year jail sentence. Proving someone guilty of this crime requires that 5 elements be established beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant operated a motor vehicle.
- That hethe operator did so on a public way or where members of the public have a right of access.
- That the operator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
- That the operation was reckless or negligent.
- That the the operator actions caused the death of another person. This can be proved if the defendants actions directly and substantially set in motion the entire chain of events that caused the death. Alternatively stated, if not for the defendant’s action death would not have occurred.
If convicted of the misdemeanor section of the statute which is a bit different in its elements of proving the case, you can be sentenced for up to 2 ½ years in jail. The district courts have jurisdiction over both felony and misdemeanor motor vehicle homicide cases.
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