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How do states punish DWI manslaughter?

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2023 | DWI Defense |

Every state has different methods for approaching crimes. When it comes to DWI manslaughter, some states take a very hard approach, while others are more lenient.

Seeing how New Jersey compares to other states gives insight into how the state manages this crime. New Jersey has a sentencing range of five to 10 years in prison.

Neighboring states sentencing guidelines

It appears that New Jersey may actually be the strictest in its area of the United States. New York’s sentencing guidelines are zero to 15 years. Looking at Delaware, the sentencing runs from one to five years. Pennsylvania’s sentences could be zero to 10 years. So, compared to its bordering states, New Jersey is the harshest with a five-year minimum. In Delaware, that’s the maximum sentence, and New York and Pennsylvania offer the option of giving no jail time to someone who commits a DWI manslaughter.

States with harsher sentencing guidelines

New Jersey is far from the strictest state when it comes to sentencing for DWI manslaughter. It does have a leg up on requiring a five-year minimum. The only states that have a comparable or higher minimum are Mississippi, Rhode Island and Arkansas at five years and Tennessee, which has the strictest sentencing in the whole country of eight to 60 years. Some states do have higher maximum sentencing parameters. Several have a cap of 20 or 25 years.

Overall, New Jersey falls in the middle of sentencing guidelines for DWI manslaughter. It is not as strict as Tennessee, but it is much harsher than many states where a person could walk away getting zero time behind bars.