I need to find out what the law is in Oregon that relates directly to a pending vehicular manslaughter charge. I have tried to find this information on legal websites without much luck. I am wanting statuates, sample case info, etc, basically the start to finish of the process and the possibilities that exist in such a case as this. Can you please help?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Vehicular Manslaughter
This answer assumes that you're not in the state that you want to research. On legal research I'd first go to the official Web Site for the state. Then find and print out the appropriate code section charged. Remember Vehicular Manslaughter may be charged as Manslaughter. So find out the code section charged by number. Then proceed to your county law library and find the statutes for that state. You are looking for the annotated codes. These have the cases that have commented on that specific statute. With these case sites you'll know what cases are most appropriate to research, i.e. on point. You've got most of the work done at this time. If your library is fairly large they may have some computer access to a service that will provide the full text of the cases you want.
Remember when you have the statute and sections charged (and there will be several counts charged which may be several parts of one section or it may be that plus some additional sections. District attorneys normally add on as many charges (counts)as they can think up. So each count charged will have to be researched.
When you read the sections of the codes charged take the time to write them out. Start a new line whenever you reach a comma or semicolon. Eventually you'll have the various elements of the charge. These are like the steps on a flight of stairs. The D. A. has to produce at trial some evidence on each element of the crime. If they fail at this then there is probably some lesser included offense that has been proven. So you may want to look at the lesser included offenses to familiarize yourself with them. Vehicular Manslaughter may have as a lesser included offense some thing like a charge of 'conduct likely to lead to great bodily injury.'
If you have a law school in your area you may be permitted access to their library but their books on another state's laws may be out of date.
Lots of luck in your research.
Re: Vehicular Manslaughter
Criminal statutes from state to state can vary dramatically. You need to consult an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon. You might look up Martin Habekost, Esq. in Salem Oregon as he is a very good criminal defense attorney in Oregon. Good luck.
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