Drinking and driving is a dangerous combination and even more dangerous when you're in an unfamiliar area while on vacation. Driving while intoxicated can lead to criminal charges and civil lawsuits, as well as the loss of driving privileges, especially if the drunk driver crashed and killed someone. At this point, the charge would be that of aggravated DUI and vehicular homicide.
If you got a call from your vacationing loved one after they were charged with an aggravated DUI and/or vehicular homicide, it's crucial that you help your loved one hire a criminal defense lawyer.
Very Serious Charges
Aggravated DUI and vehicular homicide charges are considered very serious felonies. A drunk driving vehicular homicide conviction can result in very long prison sentences. Depending on the state, this could be anywhere up to 99 years. The terminology also differs between states, such as criminally negligent homicide in Alabama and vehicular manslaughter in Idaho.
You'll need to find the exact location of the accident so you can determine which state to look for a criminal defense lawyer for your loved one. Lawyers can only practice in the state where they have passed the bar exam. Even though you may have a family member or friend who is a criminal defense lawyer, you will have to hire one who licensed to practice in the state where your loved one was charged. Also, lawyers typically only take cases in certain counties of their choosing as well.
However, it's also a good idea to hire a lawyer in the county where your loved one is a legal resident because they could also be facing hearings from the Department of Motor Vehicles in their state regarding their driver's license and driving privileges. Your loved one may need to give you power of attorney in order to hire lawyers on their behalf.
Out On Bail
Criminal defense for an aggravated DUI that resulted in the death of someone can turn into a lengthy discovery process and trial, during which the court may allow your loved one to be bailed out of jail while waiting for trial. However, since your loved one won't be able to leave the area, you'll need to seek counsel with the defense lawyer to determine what the appropriate course of action would be and the options your loved one would have regarding expediting the trial due to the circumstances of being from out-of-state.Share