Home » Knoxville DUI Lawyer » Vehicular Homicide

BARNES & Fersten Vehicular Homicide Lawyers in TN

Award Winning Client Service, Proven Results



Vehicular Homicide Defense in Tennessee

At Barnes & Fersten, we understand the severe consequences of being charged with vehicular homicide and we have represented clients through jury trials on such charges including a not guilty verdict on vehicular homicide by intoxication. This is a serious crime that can result in significant prison time, fines, and other penalties. If you or a loved one has been charged with vehicular homicide in Tennessee, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorneys who have experience fighting successfully against such charges as soon as possible.

John Barnes, Brandon Fersten, and Oscar Butler, Attorneys

Penalties For Vehicular Homicide in Tennessee

Vehicular homicide in Tennessee is governed by the state’s criminal code, specifically Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) § 39-13-213. Vehicular homicide is the reckless killing of another by the operation of a motor vehicle. Vehicular homicide may be a Class B, C or D felony depending on the manner upon which the vehicular homicide occurred.  


  • Class B Felony: Punishable by 8-30 years: proximate result of the defendant’s impairment or intoxication. Although potentially parole eligible, this charge is not probataion eligible; 

  • Class C Felony: Punishable by 3-15 years: proximate result of conduct creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury; 

  • Class D Felony: Punishable by 2-12 years: proximate result of the driver’s conduct in a posted construction zone where the person killed was an employee of the department of transportation or a highway construction worker.  


The penalties for vehicular homicide can be severe. A conviction for vehicular homicide can result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years, as well as fines, probation, and community service. Additionally, a conviction for vehicular homicide can result in the revocation of the person’s driver’s license. 


Our attorneys will carefully review the evidence against you and build the strongest defense possible, whether it’s challenging the prosecution’s evidence or arguing that your actions were not reckless or negligent. Some potential defenses include lack of evidence of impairment at the time of the accident, mechanical issues in the vehicle that was the proximate cause of the accident, or lack of proof that the defendant was driving the vehicle. All the same defenses available in a DUI Case are available in a vehicular homicide case where the proximate cause of the accident is alleged to be impairment.  



Our attorneys have successfully represented clients in vehicular homicide cases where our client’s accident that resulted in the vehicular homicide charges was likely caused by a mechanical issue with the vehicle rather than impairment. In another case, where the deceased and alleged victim was allegedly the passenger in the vehicle, we argued that our client was the passenger rather than the driver of the vehicle. In both cases, we utilized experts across the country to establish each issue individually. 


Nearly every vehicular homicide case will require an expert or numerous experts to establish our theory of the case and/or defense. It is essential that your attorney utilizes experts for your defense against these very serious charges


In any case, the defense strategy will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the case, so it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the charges against you and the best defense strategies for your case. The attorneys at Barnes & Fersten have the knowledge and experience to defend you against these serious charges and protect your rights. 

Contact A Tennessee Vehicular Homicide Defense Atorney

In conclusion, Vehicular Homicide is a serious crime in Tennessee that carries severe penalties. If you or a loved one is facing these charges, it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Barnes & Fersten is here to provide you with the aggressive defense you need to fight these charges and protect your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you navigate the legal process and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. We represent individuals charged with vehicular homicide across East Tennessee, including but not limited to Knox County, Loudon County, Anderson County, Blount County, Sevier County, Union County, McMinn County, and Roane County.