Vehicular Manslaughter | Resources

When An Accident Leads To Vehicular Manslaughter In California

Car accidents happen on a daily basis in California. There are small fender benders and serious accidents that lead to death. While the possibility of an accident is not something you tend to focus on regularly, things can quickly change. If you were at fault in a car crash that led to someone's death, you could be facing some severe charges. In fact, you might be accused of vehicular manslaughter.

Vehicular manslaughter can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. The prosecution will look at whether you were engaging in negligent actions at the time of the deadly crash. If you were drunk when the accident took place, you could be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, which falls under California Penal Code 191.5(b).

If You Were Drunk When The Fatal Crash Occurred

For the prosecution to successfully convict you of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, they will have to prove that you were in fact driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They will also need to show that you were driving in a negligent manner, which led to the other person's death.

What you need to understand is that if you were drunk when the accident happened, the prosecution will likely charge you with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, even if you believe the crash was unavoidable or you were not at fault. The assumption is that since you were drunk, you are the one to blame.

If You Were Not Drunk When The Fatal Crash Occurred

Even if you were not drunk when the accident took place, you could still be charged with vehicular manslaughter. The prosecution will need to show that you committed an unlawful act while driving and were grossly negligent. For example, if you were speeding or driving recklessly, it could be considered an unlawful act. Gross negligence could come into play, too, which basically means you disregarded the safety of others.

Contact A South Bay Criminal Attorney

The experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers at Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, with over 40 years of combined experience defending persons accused of vehicular manslaughter.

Robert Ernenwein is a former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney and is certified as a criminal law specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. He has been named a Super Lawyer by Los Angeles magazine and has appeared as a legal analyst on multiple cable news programs, including Fox News.

Contact the Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers today at 424-552-3901 for a free case review.