Negligently Causing Homicide

Maryland law provides for five felony offenses for negligently causing a homicide by drunk or drugged driving. The crimes for negligently causing homicide apply to a motor vehicle or vessel.

While the crime of manslaughter by vehicle or vessel requires a finding of gross negligence, negligently causing homicide for drunk or drugged offenses requires only a finding of simple negligence.

  • Under § 2-503(a)(1), the first offense prohibits a person from causing the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Under § 2-503(a)(2), the second offense prohibits a person from causing the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol per se.
  • Under § 2-504, the third offense prohibits a person from causing the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol.
  • Under § 2-505, the fourth offense prohibits a person from causing the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while the person is so far impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person cannot operate the motor vehicle safely. This section specifically states that it is not a defense that a person was lawfully using the drug, the combination of drugs, or the combination of one or more drugs and alcohol unless the person was unaware that doing so would make the person incapable of driving safely.
  • Under § 2-506, the fifth offense prohibits a person from causing the death of another as a result of the person’s negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while the person is impaired by a controlled dangerous substance. This prohibition does not apply, however, to a person who is entitled to use the controlled dangerous substance.

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Penalties for Negligently Causing Homicide

Under Maryland law at § 2-503, a person who causes the death of another as a result of negligently driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol per se is subject to imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

Under §§ 2-504 through 2-506, a person who commits any of the other three offenses relating to homicide by motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs is subject to imprisonment for up to three years or a fine of up to $3,000 or both.


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Finding a Homicide by Negligence Attorney in Maryland

With offices conveniently located in Arbutus and Catonsville, Maryland, the experienced DUI and DWI defense attorneys in Baltimore, MD, at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates serve clients throughout the city and county of Baltimore, and the surrounding areas including Catonsville, Bel Air, and Annapolis.

The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have been arrested for any drug or alcohol offense in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County or Harford, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney today.