The Seriousness of Facing Vehicular Manslaughter Charges in California

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.

The skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have a long and successful track record of defending those who have been charged with vehicular manslaughter. If you or a loved one has been charged in connection with a fatal car accident, please call our offices at 866-430-8383 for a free consultation.

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