Yes. Driving while impaired (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), and involuntary manslaughter are separate and distinct crimes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and you may be charged with more than one crime arising from the same incident. However, in order to be sentenced for both crimes, the prosecution will need to prove that you meet all of the elements of each crime.
What DWI- and DUI-Related Involuntary Manslaughter Mean in Virginia
In order to be convicted of DWI in Virginia, the prosecution must prove that one of the following is true:
You had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
In order to be convicted of DUI-related involuntary manslaughter, the prosecution must prove that:
You were driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both drugs and alcohol at the time of the accident. The prosecution does not need to prove that you had a specific blood alcohol content or that you were technically driving under the influence.
You unintentionally caused someone else’s death. The fatality must have occurred as a result of intoxication.
If the prosecution fails to meet all of the requirements of a DWI charge, then you may still be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter if the prosecution can prove the elements of that crime. Likewise, the reverse may be true and you may be found guilty of DWI, but not of involuntary manslaughter even if someone died in the accident.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer If You Face One or More Criminal Charges After a Virginia Accident
If you face DWI- or DUI-related involuntary manslaughter, other involuntary manslaughter charges, or other criminal charges, then you need a good defense lawyer to help you protect your rights. You could be facing serious criminal penalties including a fine, a license suspension, and jail time.
Therefore, it is important to start preparing your defense as soon as possible. Please contact the Wilson Law Firm today to schedule an initial consultation and please download our FREE Virginia DUI/DWI Arrest Survival Guide today now so that you can get the information you need immediately.