Last year, a bicyclist named Chris Bucchere, struck and killed a 71-year-old pedestrian named Sutchi Hui in San Francisco. Bucchere asked the court to try him for a misdemeanor.  However, according to ABA Journal, after a preliminary hearing, the judge ruled that the bicyclist would be tried for felony vehicular manslaughter instead.

What Are Misdemeanors?

Misdemeanors are more serious than petty offenses, but much less serious than felonies.  Misdemeanors typically result in a heavier fine than what someone would pay if they committed a petty offense.  A person convicted of a misdemeanor usually does not lose the right to vote, serve on juries, practice in a licensed profession or serve in the military.  Most importantly, misdemeanors are not counted as "strikes" in states that have adopted three strikes laws.

What Are Felonies?

Felonies are the most serious types of crimes.  They are crimes punishable by more than one year in prison.  Each state has different punishments for these offenses.  Unlike misdemeanors, defendants convicted of felonies serve their sentences in a state or federal prison rather than a local, city or county jail.  The right to a court-appointed lawyer if the defendant can’t afford one is one of the rights guaranteed in felony cases.

Click here to watch an informational video about vehicular manslaughter.

If you have additional questions regarding felonies and misdemeanors, click here to find Felony and Misdemeanor Attorneys near you.

Do you think it is correct to try a bicyclist with vehicular manslaughter?