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California Man Gets Life in Prison for DUI Murder Involving Infant

Posted on in DUI

California Man Gets Life in Prison for DUI Murder Involving InfantA 51-year-old man from Porterville, California, was recently sentenced to life in prison following his conviction for an incident of driving under the influence of alcohol that resulted in the death of a 1-year-old boy. A Tulare County court had previously found the man to be guilty of second-degree murder, which is the most serious criminal charge someone can face when they are accused of a DUI fatality in California. As opposed to DUI manslaughter, a DUI murder conviction requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant acted with malice. A second-degree murder conviction has a minimum of 15 years in prison. There are several aggravating factors that likely caused the defendant to receive the maximum prison sentence allowable for this conviction under California law:

  1. Reckless Driving: According to reports of the incident, the defendant caused the crash by attempting to pass the victim’s vehicle. He was driving at a high speed and crossed over two solid, yellow lines in order to use the left lane of oncoming traffic. At the same time, the victim’s vehicle was making a left turn into a private driveway.
  2. Hit-and-Run: Following the collision that crushed the victim’s vehicle, the defendant reportedly attempted to flee the scene on foot. Bystanders at the scene followed him, allowing police to apprehend him. Along with second-degree murder, the defendant was convicted of felony hit-and-run that resulted in death or injury.
  3. Multiple Victims: Besides the infant who died, two women in the vehicle were injured. One woman suffered serious injuries that required extensive treatment.
  4. High Level of Intoxication: According to a blood alcohol concentration test, the defendant has a 0.13 percent BAC two hours after the incident. This is well above the 0.08 percent BAC limit and left little doubt that he was impaired at the time of the incident.
  5. Prior Convictions: On the date of the incident, the defendant was still on probation for a 2015 DUI conviction. He had also been convicted for DUI in 2000 and 2010. Prosecutors often use prior DUI convictions when pursuing a second-degree murder conviction because it proves that the defendant was aware of the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol.
  6. Human Element: When deciding on the length of a prison sentence, a judge will consider the circumstances of the case and the likelihood that the defendant may repeat the offense. The fact that it was an infant who was killed in the incident likely affected the judge’s decision. The mother read a statement during the sentencing hearing that spoke of the profound impact of her son’s death and asked for the maximum sentence because she claimed the defendant had not taken responsibility for the incident or shown remorse. Given that this was his fourth DUI conviction, the court likely agreed with her.

Contact a Sonoma, California, DUI Defense Attorney

Every defendant in a DUI trial is entitled to a skilled defense attorney, even if all of the evidence seems to point against them. If a not guilty verdict seems unlikely, the attorney can still help the defendant get a fair sentence. A San Francisco DUI defense lawyer at Burglin Law Offices, P.C., will represent you and your best interests during your trial. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-729-7300.

Source:

https://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/crime/article236335693.html

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