The New York Criminal Law Blog

When Hit-and-Run Leads to Manslaughter

Hit-and-run accidents can lead to severe consequences. Last week, we talked about the possible repercussions of a hit-and-run crash, such as the criminal charge of fleeing the scene of the accident.

That's only one part of a case involving a death by vehicle. If you're caught fleeing the scene of an accident that left anyone dead, you're likely to face a homicide charge.

That's the fate of Julio Acevedo of Brooklyn. He was extradited from Pennsylvania to New York in the hit-and-run death of an expectant couple and their baby, who was born after the accident but later died.

Acevedo now faces the serious charge of criminally negligent homicide. This comes in addition to the charge of fleeing the scene of the accident.

In addition to the homicide charges, he is also accused of speeding, reckless driving and assault, reports Reuters.

In New York, criminally negligent homicide is a Class E felony. It's appropriate when a person causes the death of another with criminal negligence.

This is usually the case when the death is unintended. Criminal negligence is defined as the failure to use reasonable care to avoid consequences that threaten or harm the safety of others.

It's a charge often seen in DUI-related deaths. But it's a serious charge and one that can result in some serious time.

Acevedo, for example, is looking at 25 years to life if convicted of criminally negligent homicide. And imagine: These were deaths he didn't even intend to cause.

As his case shows, you don't need to intend to cause a death in order to be guilty of homicide. Sometimes, a foolish action may be enough.

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