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Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated Laws in California

Napa Valley DUI lawyer

California DUI Defense Lawyer Defends Clients Charged with Manslaughter

Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is divided into two categories: Penal Code §191.5(a) (with gross negligence) and Penal Code §191.5(b) (without gross negligence).

Penal Code §191.5(a) (Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated With Gross Negligence) has the following elements:

1. The unlawful killing of a human being.

2. Without malice.

3. In the driving.

4. Of a vehicle.

5. In violation of VC §§23140, 23152 or 23153.

6. Proximately caused by the commission of,

A. An unlawful act, not amounting to felony

OR

B. A lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner,

7. With gross negligence.

The California Supreme Court said in People v. Ochoa (1993) 6 Cal.4th 1199:

We have previously explained that “[g]ross negligence is the exercise of so slight a degree of care as to raise a presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences. [Citation.] ‘The state of mind of a person who acts with conscious indifference to the consequences is simply, “I don’t care what happens.”’ [Citation.] The test is objective: whether a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have been aware of the risk involved. [Citation.]” (People v. Bennett (1991) 54 Cal.3d 1032, 1036.)

If you are convicted of violating Penal Code (PC) §191.5(a) (vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence) you are subject to 4, 6, or 10 years in state prison. P.C. §191.5 (c) (1). If you have one or more prior convictions of this section, or of P.C. §§192(c)(1) or 192.5(a) or (b) (vehicular manslaughter), or two or more prior convictions of VC §23152, or one prior conviction for VC §23153, you are subject to 15 years to life in state prison. P.C. §191.5(d).

Penal Code §191.5 (Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated Without Gross Negligence) has the following elements:

1. The unlawful killing of a human being.

2. Without malice aforethought.

3. In the driving.

4. Of a vehicle.

5. Where the driving is in violation of VC

§23140, 23152 or 23153.

6. And the killing was either the proximate result of the commission of an,

A. Unlawful act, not amounting to a felony,

OR

B. A Lawful act which might produce death, in an unlawful manner.

7. Without gross negligence.

If you are convicted of violating this section you are subject to either a misdemeanor or felony filing of criminal charges. Thus, you are subject to the possibility of 1 year in the county jail or 16 months, 2 years or 4 years in state prison. P.C. §191.5(c) (2).

IT IS THEREFORE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONSULT WITH EXPERIENCED LEGAL COUNSEL BEFORE MAKING ANY FURTHER STATEMENTS TO THE POLICE, INSURANCE AGENTS, OR INVESTIGATORS.

CALL PAUL BURGLIN NOW AT (415) 729-7300.

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