Iowa Vehicular Homicide Laws
Vehicular Homicide is the most severe alcohol-related driving offense that a person can be charged with in the State of Iowa.
There are a number of theories that a person can be prosecuted for under the Vehicular Homicide statute.
Vehicular Homicide While Intoxicated
The alcohol related offense occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated and it unintentionally results in the death of another. It can be a complete accident but if the driver had an alcohol concentration over .08; had improper drugs in their system; or was under the influence of alcohol or drug or a combination of alcohol and drug; and the action of driving while intoxicated was the proximate cause of the person’s death; the offense has been committed. The actual legal elements are as follows:
- Unintentionally causes death of another; by
- Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
OWI - Drunk Driving
The crime of Operating While Intoxicated can be committed in two ways:
- by operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drug or combination of alcohol or drug; and/or
- by operating a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more or with “any” amount of controlled substance present in their system.
Class B Felony
A vehicular homicide conviction for operating while intoxicated is a Class B Felony, carrying a mandatory prison term of 25 years. The judge has no choice but to send the person to prison for 25 years. There is no possibility of probation.
Class C Felony
A lesser charge of vehicular homicide is also available for situations where the State cannot prove that a person operated while intoxicated. In these situations they can charge a driver in a fatality accident with vehicular homicide by way of reckless driving. In these cases the State is required to prove the defendant unintentionally caused the death of another by operating a motor vehicle in a reckless manner; in a way that showed demonstrated a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. In other words, the person knew and recognized the risk of their driving behavior but did it anyway. Vehicular homicide by reckless driving is a Class C Felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Probation is a possibility in these cases.
Restitution & Loss of Driving Privileges
In all death related cases, a defendant found guilty of the offense is also required to pay the victim’s estate $150,000.00 in restitution and their driving privileges are barred for 6 years.
Vehicular Homicide Defenses
All hope is not lost with a charge for vehicular homicide, but it is imperative that a person facing these types of serious felony charges immediately consult with their defense lawyers. Time is of the essence in these cases, and evidence is often destroyed before trial. Defenses are discussed at Vehicular Homicide Defenses.
Iowa OWI Defenders
contact us at 1-888-278-1027
Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm
IOWA DRUNK DRIVING DEFENSE LAWYERS
440 Fairway Drive,
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
Phone: (515) 226-0500
Toll free: 1-888-278-1027
Get Directions :: View Map
You can also get directions and see an enlarged map of the area surrounding the attorneys' offices at 440 Fairway Drive by clicking on the links above or the words in this paragraph.
GRL's DUI Attorneys, Robert Rehkemper and Matthew Lindholm, represent people against drunk driving offenses. From their offices in the Des Moines and West Des Moines, Iowa area, they represnet people throughout the state of Iowa.
free initial consultation
If you or someone you care about has been arrested for drunk driving or an intoxication related offense, remember that an arrest is not a conviction; there are many, many reasons why an OWI charge may be wrong. You need to know your rights in an OWI charge. For example, if you believe that you were solber, that very well may be the case; field sobriety tests are inaccurate and breathalyzers can malfunction.
Send your OWI Arrest Information To An Attorney
A Case Submission Form helps you to organize the information and provide it to the attorneys before your consultation or for an e-mail response. You can send details about your OWI arrest to the attorneys with the CASE SUBMISSION FORM. That form is also very handy for after-hours communications, to give the attorneys a head's-up that you will be calling, or to leave a message for one of them to call you back. While arrest and charge information is public, be sure to exclude any confidential information.
prepare for consultation
The OWI DUI Questionnaire Form on this website is the same one provided in the attorneys' offices.
The attorneys at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm are extremely detail-orientated; they want information from you pertaining to every aspect of your case including your and police actions prior to the police stop, preliminary to your arrest, during arrest and after arrest.
An OWI DUI Questionnaire Form is ready for you to print and complete to prepare for your consultation with an attorney. It is a PDF (portable document file) file, which requires a free PDF reader to open the file. You can get the free reader here.
Driver's Rights Card™
Iowa's Driver's Rights Card was created by the attorneys at Gourley, Rehkemper & Lindholm PLC of Des Moines, Iowa to inform people of their rights when stopped or investigated by police, and to carry with them for just such occassions. Get Your FREE Driver's Rights Card today.
The Driver's Rights Card™ works in any OWI situation; you can use it if you are detained on suspicion of driving while under the influence, boating while under the influence, underage driving while under the influence, public intoxication, driving while under the influence of prescription drugs, minor in possession of alcohol, and in accidents while intoxicated or vehicle homicides.
frequently appear in the courts in Des Moines, Iowa
and West Des Moines, Iowa
(Polk County), Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa (Black Hawk County), Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Linn County), Iowa city, Iowa (Johnson & Washington County), Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa (Pottawattamie County), Davenport, Moline, Rock Island, Iowa (Scott County), and Sioux City, Iowa (Woodbury County), as well as Dubuque, Monroe, De Soto, Nevada, Story City, Pleasant Hill, Capitol Heights, Marquisville, Urbandale, Clive and Windsor Heights, Iowa, and all other areas in Iowa.