A. Vehicular homicide is the killing of a human being caused proximately or caused directly by an offender engaged in the operation of, or in actual physical control of, any motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other means of conveyance, whether or not the offender had the intent to cause death or great bodily harm, whenever any of the following conditions exists and such condition was a contributing factor to the killing:
(1) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages as determined by chemical tests administered under the provisions of R.S. 32:662.
(2) The operator’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood.
(3) The operator is under the influence of any controlled dangerous substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V as set forth in R.S. 40:964.
(4) The operator is under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
(5)(a) The operator is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription.
(b) It shall be an affirmative defense to any charge under this Paragraph pursuant to this Section that the label on the container of the prescription drug or the manufacturer’s package of the drug does not contain a warning against combining the medication with alcohol.
(6) The operator is under the influence of one or more drugs which are not controlled dangerous substances and which are legally obtainable with or without a prescription and the influence is caused by the operator knowingly consuming quantities of the drug or drugs which substantially exceed the dosage prescribed by the physician or the dosage recommended by the manufacturer of the drug.
B. Whoever commits the crime of vehicular homicide shall be fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than fifteen thousand dollars and shall be imprisoned with or without hard labor for not less than five years nor more than thirty years. At least three years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. If the operator’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.15 percent or more by weight based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood, then at least five years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. If the offender was previously convicted of a violation of R.S. 14:98, then at least five years of the sentence of imprisonment shall be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. The court shall require the offender to participate in a court-approved substance abuse program and may require the offender to participate in a court-approved driver improvement program. All driver improvement courses required under this Section shall include instruction on railroad grade crossing safety.
When should you hire a criminal defense attorney?Anyone who has been arrested or charged with committing a crime will undoubtedly need the help of a New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney. Many individuals facing criminal charges delay finding a qualified attorney until there is no other option, which can be a big mistake. There are undoubtedly many important things happening at once when charges are made that must be handled; however, the first thing that should be done is to find legal counsel. Most criminal defense attorneys would stress that the outcome of the case may very well depend on early attorney representation.
Researching and finding a good New Orleans Criminal Defense Lawyer as early in the process as possible is recommended when someone has been arrested and is facing possible criminal charges. This is especially true immediately after being arrested but before formal charges have been filed as many times attorneys can negotiate a dismissal before any charges are actually made. The key to taking advantage of such an opportune time is getting legal representation immediately after the arrest.
If charges have been made, it is still vital to find legal representation right away to improve having a more positive outcome. Any negotiating prior to authorization of charges, plea bargaining, or other discussion about dropping or lessening charges is more likely to happen in the early stages of a case rather than after charges have been finalized. A criminal defense attorney will know if there may be bargaining room with the prosecutor after hearing an account of the arrest as well as know how to proceed from that point.
Hire a New Orleans Criminal Defense Attorney Today!!!