Drunk driving is a severe issue, and it can even be fatal. Any DUI that results in death is terrible. Another concern is whether the driver will also face severe consequences. A motorist who kills another while intoxicated may face harsh penalties, depending on the situation, the jurisdiction where it occurred, and even the prosecutor and court. Consequences might range from very modest charges and fines to a possible lifetime behind bars. Continue reading to learn more.
When it comes to driving, California does not differentiate between lawfully obtained or fraudulently acquired drugs; if they make you an unsafe driver, you are breaking the law. California defines a driver as "under the influence" when they experience cognitive deficits from a substance to the point where it seriously affects their capacity to safely drive a vehicle. The substance could be alcohol, illicit drugs, or a prescription. If you get into an accident and this results in a person's death, it exacerbates DUI with manslaughter being added to the charge.
What Is DUI Manslaughter?
Vehicle manslaughter is the term for killing someone while driving. In certain places, a motorist may be punished with vehicular murder even if no fatality occurs as a result of their intoxication while driving. This is referred to as a DUI manslaughter charge, and it may be applicable even if the driver strictly adhered to the rules of the road.
Vehicle homicide and vehicular manslaughter are crimes that are specifically addressed by laws in the majority of states. Driving under the influence usually carries harsh consequences, including years or even decades in prison. Nevertheless, judges have a lot of discretion over how severe of a punishment to impose and prosecutors have discretion over what charges to file.
What Are The Possible Charges For DUI Manslaughter?
In certain places, a prosecution must demonstrate negligence in addition to intoxication when charging a motorist with DUI manslaughter. By demonstrating that the motorist did not exercise the level of caution that a reasonable person would in the same situation, ordinary negligence can be proven. For instance, in California, a driver might be prosecuted for DUI manslaughter if they were reckless.
Prosecutors file charges for DUI-related deaths under more broad murder statutes in states without legislation specifically prohibiting driving-related homicides. Even in states where there are prohibitions against vehicular homicide, prosecutors may choose to press more serious general homicide charges. Of course, if a drunk driver willfully kills someone, murder charges are nearly always applicable.
Even if a DUI-related death is the result of careless driving or a profound disregard for the sanctity of human life, the motorist may still face substantial charges, including second-degree murder. Negligent murder, grossly negligent homicide, and involuntary manslaughter are possible additional penalties for unintended DUI-related deaths.
What Are The Penalties If You're Charged With DUI Manslaughter?
Other punishments for drunk driving-related fatalities may include fines, jail time, probation, parole, license suspension or revocation, obligatory community service, and mandatory rehab or drug addiction therapy.
Legal repercussions for driving while intoxicated and murdering someone extends beyond criminal accusations and fines. The surviving relatives of a victim of a drunk driver may file a legal wrongful death claim against the motorist. The family may receive millions of dollars in compensation.
What Should I Do If I Get Charged With DUI Manslaughter In California?
In California, it's crucial to get legal counsel as soon as you're charged with DUI manslaughter. This is due to the likelihood that you may be found guilty and receive severe punishment, such as jail time and high fines. An experienced DUI attorney will be able to inform you of your rights and assist in developing a defense plan for your case. They can also aid in negotiating reduced or dropped charges with prosecutors.
An experienced lawyer will also be able to offer professional guidance on how to behave in court and guarantee that your interests are protected throughout the trial process. Having the best legal counsel might spell the difference between receiving a harsher sentence or getting off with a lower one.
It's crucial to thoroughly comprehend the legal procedure you will go through if you are charged with DUI manslaughter in California. Knowing this data will help you be more prepared for the stressful court hearings and trials that can come with such significant allegations.
Finding possible witnesses who may support your case is also crucial. These witnesses could be able to offer information or proof that might support your innocence or lessen the severity of your punishment.
Additionally, since the preliminary hearing or arraignment sets the tone for your whole case, it's crucial to be ready for it. Throughout the criminal process, your attorney will need to submit motions and present arguments that might affect the judge's choices. If found guilty of DUI manslaughter in California, you may face harsh repercussions if you do not adequately prepare and mount a compelling defense.
No matter what situation you are facing, it's important to remember that every case has its own unique set of circumstances and should be handled with the utmost care. Working closely with an experienced attorney will ensure that you receive the best possible outcome for your case. So call us today and let us help you with your DUI manslaughter case.
Do You Need a DUI Lawyer You Can Trust?
With Lynn Gorelick you don't have to face criminal charges alone. You will receive personal attention to your case. Ms. Gorelick will be the one to appear in court with you from beginning to end. Ms. Gorelick, herself, will be doing your DMV hearings. You will not be handed off to another attorney or associate. You deserve this kind of attention to your needs at this stressful time. Ms. Gorelick has represented people charged with DUI for over 38 years. She has NEVER been a prosecutor who pursues convictions. She has only DEFENDED people accused of crimes. Contact us today for your consultation!
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