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Defendants’ attitudes can affect vehicular homicide sentences

On Behalf of | May 29, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Vehicular incidents resulting in death or injury can lead to severe legal consequences in Washington state.

However, sentence lengths can vary quite a bit. One person might get five years in prison while another gets 50 years. These disparities underscore the importance of taking these cases seriously.

Factors affecting sentencing

With vehicular homicide and vehicular assault cases, the severity of the charges and subsequent sentences depend on various factors. They include the circumstances of the incident, the level of negligence and the defendant’s criminal history.

Also playing major roles can be the defendant’s level of intoxication, if any, at the time of the incident and the speed at which they were driving. The court also considers whether defendants were engaging in reckless behavior such as distracted driving or street racing and whether they have prior convictions for similar offenses.

Another variable is how seriously the defendant takes the situation and understands the potential consequences. For example, defendants who actively participate in their defense may be more likely to end up with not guilty verdicts.

Many of those who are convicted show genuine remorse and take proactive steps to address any underlying issues. They are more likely to receive favorable consideration from the court.

Conversely, defendants who show indifference, attempt to evade responsibility or display a lack of remorse may face harsher penalties. The court may view such behavior as indicative of a lack of respect for the law and disregard for the well-being of others affected by the incident.

Potential consequences

A conviction for vehicular homicide or assault can have life-altering consequences. In addition to incarceration, individuals convicted of these offenses may face hefty fines, loss of driving privileges, mandatory participation in rehabilitation programs and lifelong stigma.

Understanding the severity of these consequences can help avoid or mitigate potentially life-altering legal outcomes.