If you are convicted of DUI resulting in death in California, you could be facing some serious penalties. This is a very serious charge, and if you are convicted, you could be looking at time in prison, as well as a substantial fine. In this article, we will discuss the penalties for DUI resulting in death in California in more detail. It is important to understand what these penalties are so that you can make the best decision possible if you are faced with this situation. Keep reading to learn more.
Penalties for a DUI That Results in Death in California
DUI laws are constantly changing, and it can be tough to stay up-to-date on all the latest changes. If you're convicted of a DUI that results in someone's death, you might be wondering what penalties you could face. Here's an overview of the penalties for a DUI that results in death in California:
DUI Vehicular Manslaughter (Misdemeanor version)
The penalties for a DUI resulting in death in California can be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of the case. If it is proven that the defendant was driving under the influence and their actions resulted in the death of another person, they can be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The penalties for DUI vehicular manslaughter in California are less severe than those for felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. If convicted of the misdemeanor version of this crime, you face a possible sentence of up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1000. You will also have your driver's license suspended for at least one year.
DUI Vehicular Manslaughter (Felony version)
The crime of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is committed when someone drives drunk and kills another person as a result. Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, but it is always considered a serious offense. The penalties for DUI vehicular manslaughter depend on whether the defendant was driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit or if they had drugs in their system at the time of the accident. If convicted of felony DUI vehicular manslaughter, a defendant faces up to four years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. If drugs were involved in the accident, the charge will also be a felony. The penalties for a felony DUI vehicular manslaughter conviction involving drugs include up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Gross DUI Vehicular Manslaughter
The penalties for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated are much harsher than those for regular DUI vehicular manslaughter. If convicted of this charge, you face a prison sentence of 10 years to life. Additionally, you will be fined up to $10,000 and your driver's license will be suspended for four years. The penalties for driving under the influence and causing an accident that results in death are extremely harsh in California. If you have been charged with this crime, it is important to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. Contacting an attorney immediately is crucial because the sooner you have representation, the better your chances are of achieving a favorable outcome in your case.
DUI Murder or Watson Murder
A Watson DUI murder is charged when the prosecution can show that the defendant knew, or should have known, that their actions while driving under the influence could result in death. This type of charge usually carries a stiffer sentence than a regular DUI murder charge. The penalties for a regular DUI resulting in death are harsh, but they pale in comparison to the penalties for a Watson DUI resulting in death. If convicted of Watson DUI murder, a defendant faces 15 years to life in prison. In addition, if found guilty of this crime, the defendant will also be subject to a fine of up to $1000 and will have their driver's license suspended.
Additional Penalties for a DUI Death in California
In addition to any other penalties that may be imposed, if you are convicted of DUI causing death, the court may order you to pay restitution to the victim or victims' families. Restitution is money paid to compensate the victim or victims for their losses. The amount of restitution you will be ordered to pay will depend on the facts of your case and the extent of the victim's injuries or losses. For example, if a victim died as a result of your DUI, the court could order you to pay restitution for funeral and burial expenses, as well as the victim's lost earnings and other damages.
If you are convicted of a DUI that results in death, there are a range of penalties you could face. Depending on the severity of the charge, you could be looking at anything from probation and community service to years behind bars. It's important to have an experienced lawyer fighting for your rights if you find yourself in this situation. Call us today and we'll get started on building your defense.
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