In the United States, the punishment for reckless imprudence resulting in homicide (involuntary manslaughter) is usually a minimum jail sentence of twelve months with fines and probation. The punishment can vary widely from state to state, however, and a number of factors are considered in sentencing, according to FindLaw.
The judge considers many factors when deciding a case of involuntary manslaughter. If a defendant has a history of reckless behavior in the past, he or she receives a harsher punishment than a person who has no former history of reckless imprudence, reports FindLaw. These are known as aggravating factors. Also, a person who shows remorse and acceptance of responsibility for the crime will receive more leniency than a person who does not demonstrate this.
When a person's death is the result of reckless driving, it is usually referred to as vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter. The punishment for this varies widely depending on the circumstances and the state. In cases involving driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the offender may receive anywhere from 0 years in jail to life. However, it's possible that a driver who causes an accident that results in the death of another may not be charged with vehicular manslaughter in some circumstances such as a person who just finished a long shift at work and fell asleep at the wheel as long as no drugs or alcohol were involved, according to Criminal Defense Lawyer.