Vehicular Manslaughter

Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney

Defense for DUI Manslaughter Charges in Los Angeles

When a drunk driver causes a fatal auto accident, he or she may face vehicular manslaughter charges under multiple sections of the California Penal Code. Although the incident may have been entirely accidental, the responsible driver may face misdemeanor or felony charges and severe penalties if convicted. The particular incident—as well as the driver's prior DUI convictions—will influence whether he or she faces misdemeanor or felony charges.

At Gold & Witham, our highly skilled legal team can offer you the counsel, guidance and representation you need. Our firm represents clients throughout Los Angeles, and we offer a free initial consultation with a competent lawyer to help you get started. By talking to our firm, you can learn more about the particular charges you are facing, as well as exactly what a difference legal counsel can make for you. We have more than 40 years of collective legal experience and have amassed extensive resources to apply to our clients' defense.

Charges of Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated

California makes a distinction between gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. In California, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charges involve three main elements per Penal Code 191.5:

  • Without malice aforethought;
  • Was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • Death of another was caused by the drunk driver's negligence or violation of law.

According to California Penal Code Section 191.5(b):

(b) 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 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, but without gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence.

The penalties for both of these crimes are as follows:

  • Gross Vehicular Manslaughter: Imprisonment in state prison for 4, 6 or 10 years.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter: Imprisonment in county jail for up to 1 year.

Defense from a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer

To successfully defend a driver who is facing vehicular manslaughter charges, we will need to disprove one or more of the elements discussed above. At times, our Los Angeles DUI attorneys may be able to prove that the defendant did not cause the accident and therefore should only face simple DUI charges and therefore lesser penalties. Call now to see how we can help you!

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