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'Melrose Place' actress convicted of vehicular homicide

An automobile accident in which a driver is suspected of negligent action can lead to criminal charges, depending on the severity of the accident. This is especially true when personal injury or death is involved, as was the case in a car accident involving actress Amy Locane-Bovenizer, whose criminal trial for a drunk driving accident may result in years of prison time.

Locane-Bovenizer's conviction on Nov. 27 ends a trial that resulted from a 2010 drunken crash that caused the death of a 60-year-old woman and the injury of her husband. The guilty verdict for vehicular homicide is punishable by five to 10 years in prison, which can possibly be served consecutively with a three- to five-year sentence for an assault by auto charge that she was found guilty of as well. She was found not guilty of the more serious aggravated manslaughter charge she also faced for the accident.

The New Jersey trial took a full month and a half to complete, with prosecutors claiming that a blood-alcohol content of three times the legal limit was the primary cause of the incident. The defense countered with arguments blaming the accident on a fearful flight on her part from a pursuing vehicle that the actress had rear-ended earlier that night. She also faces nine additional court summonses for other incidents that the present trial judge is expected to rule on before her sentencing is complete.

Those injured in a car accident in New Jersey have a right to compensation for their injuries if it can be shown that another individual's negligence or impairment caused the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help explain what your rights and options are.

Source: NJ.com, "'Melrose Place' actress cleared on manslaughter charge, convicted of vehicular homicide," Eugene Paik, Nov. 27, 2012

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