›››The following content is an excerpt from a live interview with Richard Jacobs founder of my DUI Attorney dot org. The interview has been transcribed and contains information for educational purposes only. Please call Michael Munoz to get legal advice for your particular situation
Interviewer: We’ll talk about you said major vehicle crimes. So what are all the different major vehicle crimes that you know of?
Munoz: When you’re talking about major vehicle crimes, I consider those the serious vehicular crimes. If you start from the very top you’ll have second degree murder, which that can be charged in many types of circumstances. You can have murder, the intentional type of murders, the types that we all see on movies and TV, but then that also can be applied to a vehicular crime through a reckless mental state. What the state has to prove on a vehicular homicide case or a second degree murder is they have to prove somebody killed somebody and they did it through reckless conduct. But more specifically, they must show that the person did it through reckless conduct and they had extreme indifference to human life.
How they prove is one common way on how they prove this is, somebody’s impaired by alcohol or drunk driving and they kill somebody. But, really, they have to have more than that to get second degree murder because second degree murder is kind of like a super reckless standard. So you might have someone whose impaired by alcohol and is also going at a very high rate of speed on a road. Or someone who is impaired by alcohol and maybe driving the wrong way on a road. Those are the types of things that you would see when the state charges second degree murder for a vehicular or homicide case.
…Some other common vehicular crimes are; aggravated assault, and it’s also filed as a dangerous offense. Aggravated assault is essentially the same as a manslaughter, that you did something recklessly. The difference is aggravated assault is charged when someone is seriously injured, but they do not die.
Interviewer: Can you be charged if you were in a single car accident? You know, you crash into a cactus or a pole or something and you don’t report it and you think your car is fine. Could that be considered leaving the scene of accident?
Munoz: It can. If nobody is injured then that is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It’s leaving the scene of a property collision only. If nobody is hurt then I believe it’s a misdemeanor in Arizona. it’s not as serious of an offense but yes people are charged with it.