Articles Posted in Vehicular Manslaughter

Los Angeles DUI defense attorneys know it can be stressful and scary to be arrested for drunk driving in California. This stress increases considerably when the pending charges including gross vehicular manslaughter.

Under California Penal Code Section 191.5, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the killing of another without malice aforethought. If you or someone you love has been charged with vehicular manslaughter, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney who has had a successful track record of fighting these types of charges.
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Cases involving fatal car accidents can be extremely complicated and often lead to life-changing penalties. Penalties in drunk driving cases can increase dramatically when an accident results in fatalities. These are charges that could result in severe punishment, such as lengthy prison time and hefty fines.

A person who causes a fatal car accident while under the influence could face California vehicular manslaughter or even murder charges. Under California Penal Code section 191.5 (a) states: “Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the unlawful killing of a human being without malice aforethought, in the driving of a vehicle, where the driving” involved alcohol consumption. In such cases, drivers may face drunk driving charges as well as vehicular manslaughter charges.

Vehicular manslaughter involving alcohol without gross negligence can result in a county jail sentence up to one year or 16 months, or even a two or four year state prison sentence. Vehicular manslaughter with intoxication and gross negligence can result in a one-year county jail sentence or up to 10 years in state prison. Repeat DUI offenders in California could face murder charges.

When a driver’s negligence results in a fatal car accident, he or she may face vehicular manslaughter charges. Vehicular manslaughter results in serious penalties including years of incarceration and thousands of dollars in fines. Anyone facing southern California vehicular manslaughter charges would be well advised to immediately seek legal guidance.

Penal Code 191.5(b) is the “Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated” law in California. Anyone involved in a fatal car crash while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol may face a gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charge. The prosecution will have to prove that the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, an unlawful or dangerous act was committed, and the defendant’s negligence resulted in the victim’s death.

Violation of the penal code may result in a misdemeanor or a felony. Regardless of the charges, the penalties can prove to be costly for the defendant. A misdemeanor conviction for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated could result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A felony conviction could result in up to four years in state prison with the possibility of additional years and a $10,000 fine. Motorists may also face vehicular manslaughter in cases that do not involve alcohol. Speeding, running a red light, distracted driving, street-racing, or reckless driving are all examples of other scenarios where drivers can be charged with vehicular manslaughter.

A 49-year-old man has been arrested for drunk driving, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter in Ventura after a car accident that killed a bicyclist and injured several others. Officials say the man who was driving a Hummer caused three separate crashes and fled the scene. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he faces up to 18 years in prison. He had no prior criminal record or convictions, the report states.

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is illegal under California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a). According to California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a) gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is defined as “the driving of a vehicle, where the driving was in violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, and with gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”

These are no doubt serious charges. The severity of a drunk driving charge will usually depend on the nature and extent of the injuries and the defendant’s criminal history. An experienced Ventura vehicular manslaughter defense attorney can help protect the rights of a defendant in such cases.

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