What is Maryland new criminally negligent traffic law?
On October 1, 2011, the legislature created the new crime of criminally negligent manslaughter. The crime is a misdemeanor, which carries a maxium penalty of 3 years. The law requires that the defendant’s criminally negligent driving caused the death of another. Criminally negligent driving requires more than simple negligence but less than gross negligence. The driver’s failure to perceive the risk of death must be a “gross deviation from the standard of care that would be exercised by a reasonable person.”
In the past, driver’s who negligently caused the death of another were mostly subject to fines only. This new law could potentially place someno in jail if they are not careful and made a “gross” deviation from the standard of care.
So, turn of the cell phones and put both hands on the wheel. The Maryland traffic laws just got tougher.