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Vehicular Second Degree Murder in Arizona

Car accidents happen and can end with the death of a person, but one of the most serious offenses is vehicular second degree murder. In the State of Arizona, this crime can take place in three different ways. If you are arrested under the charge of vehicular second degree murder in Arizona, you should know about the details that the crime entails and everything else to expect afterward.

This offense occurs three ways, firstly, without premeditation. In other words, you can be charged if you did not plan on striking and killing someone in advance of the incident. Secondly, it can be charged if the driver deliberately caused death to someone else by striking them with his or her vehicle, knowing full well that injury at the very least could occur. Thirdly, another way this crime could take place is if the driver has an indifference to the life of another individual and behaves recklessly while behind the wheel, therefore causing a potentially fatal incident that can result in death.

Generally speaking, when it comes to vehicular crimes, second degree murder usually is not charged, as manslaughter is a lot more appropriate. If it is charged on the individual, however, it is due to the fact that the person has shown extreme indifference to the life of another human being. Certain details can come into play that can equate to extreme indifference to human life, such as road rage, attempting to flee from police or drag racing on a busy highway.

Penalty for Vehicular Second Degree Murder

If you are charged with the offense of vehicular second degree murder in Arizona, you should know that the crime is considered a major felony. As a result, you can expect punishment in the form of a minimum of ten years of incarceration in prison. However, you can end up serving longer, with the maximum falling around the 22 year mark, which means you do not get an early release for good behavior while serving time.

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Defenses for Vehicular Second Degree Murder

There are a few defenses to the charge of vehicular second degree murder. The most popular is supervening cause, in which the defense is that it was not the defendant who caused death to the person struck but that the incident itself was the cause. An example of such a defense can mean there was an error by emergency responders or staff at a hospital that resulted in the death of the victim. This is generally a difficult case to determine, which means that typically, there are many investigations made into the circumstances that led to the death of the individual.

In general, defenses for a case involving vehicular second degree murder in Arizona involve a full and effective reconstruction of the accident. The defense attorney will be required to prove that the accident was the other person’s fault and not that of their client. He or she is also required to prove that the defendant was not reckless at the time of the accident. In Arizona, this means that the defendant must be proven as not realizing that there was a grave danger to another person’s well being or life and that he or she didn’t realize that such a serious occurrence could have happened. In other words, the attorney is required to show that the person charged with the crime was not negligent and did not disregard what is called a “substantial and unjustifiable risk.” In some instances, DUI may come into play if it was shown that the individual took breath or blood tests and the devices were incorrect in their findings. The lawyer will also occasionally have a professional inspect the defendant’s car in order to check for defects that might have played a part in the accident, which would prove that the individual was not to blame for it.

There are frequently other issues that play a part in the defense of an individual who is accused of this crime. Forensic flaws may occur during the investigation into the incident. Charges can even be dismissed for something as simple as the arresting police officer neglecting to inform the individual of their Miranda rights.

If you are arrested and charged for vehicular second degree murder, it is absolutely essential that you seek the advice and services of a skilled attorney in Arizona who has experience in these types of cases. You will have a far better chance of getting a minimum sentence if you are found guilty or a greater chance of having the charges reduced or dismissed completely! We offer Free Consultations on all cases, call us today at (602) 307-0808 to schedule a time with an attorney. Our phone is answered 24 hours a day or if you choose, you can send us a confidential email, and an attorney will contact you back within 24 hours.

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