Strategic Law Command

Vehicular manslaughter charges may stem from a DUI

When someone gets behind the wheel after drinking, they are typically not thinking about the worst-case scenario. The tragic reality is that many people end up getting killed in accidents involving a drunk driver. If you were arrested and charged for a DUI following an accident in California, and someone died as a result of that accident, you may also be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Under California Penal Code Sec. 191.5, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated requires the driver to have acted with ordinary negligence, while gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated requires the driver to have acted with gross negligence.

Ordinary negligence behind the wheel generally includes routine traffic violations such as failing to yield or running a red light. However, prosecutors may say you were grossly negligent if you were driving recklessly by driving on the wrong side of the highway or excessively speeding. Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated can be a misdemeanor or felony, but gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is generally classified as a felony.

It can be difficult to defend against vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. However, if you and/or your attorney can prove that you were in fact intoxicated at the time of the accident, that you were not negligent or that your negligence did not cause the collision, the court may drop the charges against you or at least reduce the charges. If you are facing these severe charges, it may be in your best interest to discuss your case with a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.

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