Police are looking for a suspected drunk driver, who they say, fled the scene of a fatal car accident in Los Angeles. KTLA News reports that the accident occurred on the Santa Monica (10) Freeway at La Brea Avenue. A 2005 BMW, traveling at a high rate of speed, rear-ended a pickup truck, causing it to overturn, California Highway Patrol officials said. A 20-year-old passenger in the BMW, died at the scene. Another passenger in the car and the driver of the truck also sustained moderate injuries.
Those arrested for drunk driving in Los Angeles may either be charged with a misdemeanor DUI offense or a felony, which is a much more serious charge. Usually, when a DUI arrest does not involve an accident, injuries, fatalities or major property damage, it results in a misdemeanor charge. When a DUI accident does involve deaths, injuries or major property damage, the driver will most likely be charged with a felony. When fatalities are involved, the driver could also face gross vehicular manslaughter charges.
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 was in violation of (DUI) Section 23140, 23152, or 23153 of the Vehicle Code, and the killing was …, in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence.”
In California, whether you have been charged with misdemeanor DUI or felony drunk driving, the stakes are high and you may lose your driving privileges. If convicted, you could face jail time and other harsh penalties. It is critical that you contact an experienced Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer immediately to discuss your case. If you are in such a situation, please contact the skilled criminal defense lawyers at Sitkoff & Hanrahan for a free consultation. Call 866-430-8383 today.