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Best Defenses To A Charge Of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated

Okabe & Haushalter Nov 15, 2018 Criminal Defense

What seemed like a nice evening full of fun, booze and partying could take a scary turn if you decide to drive under the influence of alcohol. No, we do not mean that you could be arrested for DUI. When we say “scary,” we mean that you could be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter.

Your life is about to become much more stressful and nerve-racking if you kill another person while operating a vehicle in the state of alcohol intoxication. “If I am charged with gross vehicular manslaughter, is it the end of my career, social life, and everything I used to appreciate in this life, and there is nothing I can do about it?” you may be wondering

We brought our Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from Okabe & Haushalter to explain some of the most effective defense strategies against gross vehicular manslaughter charges in California.

Penalties for gross vehicular manslaughter in California

In California, gross vehicular manslaughter is almost always charged as a felony. “But what about the penalties?” you may be wondering. Well, the penalties for gross vehicular manslaughter vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your particular case.

More often than not, those charged with gross vehicular manslaughter face up to six or even 10 years in prison. However, if it is not your first time being convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter or you have two or more prior DUI convictions on your criminal record, you may be looking at up to 15 years in prison.

Also, if another person’s death is not the only casualty in the car accident, you could face additional up to six years in prison depending on the number of surviving victims who sustained an injury in the accident.

Elements of a gross vehicular manslaughter charge

Our experienced criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles explains that the prosecutor must prove the following elements in order to charge you with gross vehicular manslaughter:

  • You were operating your vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the deadly collision
  • You negligently committed an illegal act or a legal act that was dangerous in addition to the DUI
  • Your negligence resulted in the death of another person in the car accident

Defenses to a gross vehicular manslaughter charge in California

While many people in California tend to think that there is not much you can do defend yourself against a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, there are actually a number of defenses that your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney may be able to raise on your behalf.

For example, your lawyer may be able to prove that you were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident (or, in other words, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was lower than the level of an impairment set by state laws).

Even if your BAC level was higher than the legally allowable limit, your lawyer may still be able to defend you against the gross vehicular manslaughter charge by arguing that your actions were not negligent or that your negligence was not the cause of death in the car crash.

Also, experienced criminal defense lawyers know how to exclude incriminating evidence from the trial as long as they can prove that the police investigation violated legal procedures of obtaining that evidence. As always, you need a lawyer to look into the facts of your particular case in order to determine the best defense strategy for your situation. Get a free consultation by contacting Okabe & Haushalter today. Call our offices at 310-430-7799.