Dallas Criminal Negligent Homicide Charges Referred to Grand Jury
Dallas Police will refer Criminal Negligent Homicide charges to a Grand Jury in a case in which a Dallas driver ran over a woman during a domestic disturbance. Police say that a the driver became involved in a fight and tried to flee by driving away in her car. As she left the scene another woman came to her window to continue the altercation. Apparently as the driver drove off the other woman was hit, taken to the hospital and later died.
A Criminal Negligent Homicide charge is a state jail felony which carries a penalty range of 180 days to two years. A person is also eligible for probation if they have never before been convicted of a felony. Like many Dallas Criminal Negligent Homicide cases there appears to be some very good legal defences that can be raised. The fact that the police choose not to make an arrest means that the police have doubts about this case. If law enforcement believes they have a strong case they will usually make an arrest right away. If they have doubts then they often refer the case to a grand jury to decide if there is sufficient evidence to indict.
In this case reports indicate that the suspect was trying to flee and the victim was the aggressor. Additionally it appears that this was not an intentional act or the police would have brought a murder charge. This case will come down to whether the drivers actions were criminally negligent. In other words did the person take an unreasonable risk that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would not have taken. From the facts given in news accounts a grand jury would not likely indict. If they there is an indictment it will be a tough case for prosecutors to obtain a guilty verdict.