An elementary school principal has been charged with DUI murder in connection with a head-on crash in Palmdale that killed a woman. The suspect principal was ordered jailed in lieu of $2 million bail while awaiting arraignment next month.
The case is taking place at the Lancaster/Antelope Valley courthouse in LA County and the report alleges that the suspect was behind the wheel of her jeep when it veered into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with the victim’s car.
If convicted of this charge, the suspect faces a strike conviction and 15 years to life in state prison.
DUI causing death murder charges, or “Watson,” murder, is a way for prosecutors in California to prosecute someone who was DUI and caused a death with second-degree murder. This occurs if the state can prove that the defendant was committed the offense with “implied malice.” Implied malice, in plain English, means that the suspect does not need to intend to cause death, but acted with conscious disregard for human life. Thus, if you deliberately get into your car while intoxicated, drive and end up causing a death, the driving while impaired can be interpreted as conscious disregard for human life.
Typically, “Watson” murders are charged only after someone has had a prior DUI conviction or has attended one of the statewide drinking and driving programs.
If you have been charged with a DUI causing a death or causing great bodily injury, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Ross Erlich handles DUIs in Los Angeles county, Ventura county, San Bernardino county, Orange county and in Riverside county. Additionally, if the facts surrounding the incident look bad, there are some pre-court actions attorney Ross Erlich can share to help improve your case status at the first court appearance.
Remember, if you are convicted of a DUI in California, you are looking at possible jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, community service, problems with employment and other obligations.
Contact Ross Erlich today for a free case consultation and to stop the DMV from suspending your license.
A suspected drunk driver crashed his car and ejected one of the passengers during a police pursuit in East Los Angeles early Saturday morning.
Monterey Park Police tried to pull over the vehicle, which was driving without headlights, when the car failed to yield and got onto the 60 freeway. It was during the transition to the 710 freeway when the car crashed and one passenger was ejected from the car while the other passengers suffered more minor injuries. The driver was booked on suspicion of DUI.
While the booking charge in this case is your standard DUI offense, it will likely be filed as a DUI causing injury, a more serious offense in Los Angeles. DUI causing injury in Los Angeles is a “wobbler”, which means that the prosecutor can charge the offense as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts of the case, injuries, prior record and other considerations.
If charged as a felony, you will be looking at 2, 3 or 4 years in state prison (more if someone suffered a great bodily injury), 1 strike, an 18-month alcohol program, significant fines, revocation of your driver’s license and possible restitution to any victim(s).
If the case is charged as a misdemeanor, you could, potentially, face county jail time, probation, alcohol program, fines, restitution to any victim(s) and a suspension of your driver’s license.
If you have been charged with a DUI or a DUI causing injury in Los Angeles, it is crucial to contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible to avoid having the DMV automatically suspend your driver’s license without a hearing. This will happen if you, or your attorney, fails to contact the DMV within 10 days of the date of arrest and request a hearing. Contacting an attorney early in the process may also help to avoid felony charges by allowing attorney Ross Erlich to open lines of communication with law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office prior to them determining what type of charge to formally file.
Likely charges and resolution’s of your case will vary greatly depending on the facts of the case, injuries to passengers or victims, blood alcohol level and other considerations. Attorney Ross Erlich handles all DUI-related offenses in the Burbank Courthouse, Metropolitan Courthouse, Metro Courthouse, East Los Angeles Courthouse, Airport Courthouse, Van Nuys Courthouse and Pasadena Courthouse.
Contact the office today at (323) 222-4529 for a free case consultation.
A former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to three years probation for driving with more than twice the legal blood alcohol limit, hitting another vehicle, injuring the occupant of that vehicle and then fleeing the scene.
The former deputy will have to wear an alcohol-monitoring device for two years and will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle that is registered to him.
Michael Grundy, the ex-deputy mentioned above, was driving under the influence of alcohol and another unspecified drug when he hit another car in a South Los Angeles intersection. He was ultimately found by two other deputies, returned to the scene of the crime and arrested by the CHP.
Grundy had already completed a 180-day rehabilitation program at the time of sentencing and was ordered to pay over $25,000 in restitution to the victim in the case. Grundy had previously been arrested for drunk driving in Riverside County in 2005.
Grundy was originally charged with felony DUI causing injury, which is a very serious crime in Los Angeles. Considering there was likely an additional charge of hit-and-run, prosecutors likely sought jail time and a substantial amount of restitution. Many people believe that if you are driving under the influence and get into an accident, the best course of action is to attempt to flee and avoid arrest. The problem with that choice is if you get charged with a separate count of hit-and-run, you are looking at additional punishment, fines and restrictions on your driver’s license.
If you have been charged with a DUI or hit and run in Los Angeles, it is important to contact attorney Ross Erlich as soon as possible. The DMV must be contacted within 10 days of the date of arrest to prevent an automatic suspension of your driver’s license so contact us before it is too late!
A 19-year-old from Irvine has been arrested on felony manslaughter and DUI charges after a car crash that killed a 16-year-old girl and injured 6 others.
The incident occurred at approximately 1:30 a.m. when 2 cars were travelling over 70 mph on a canyon road. The driver of the front car stopped abruptly in an attempt to avoid hitting a deer. The suspect, in the car behind the front one, also slammed on his brakes but lost control of the vehicle when it slammed into a tree. One of the passengers in the suspect’s car was ejected and died from her injuries.
If you were operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and one of your passengers dies as a result of an accident that a prosecutor believes is your fault, you may be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. This offense is a “wobbler” meaning that, depending on the facts of your case and prior criminal history, the prosecutor may charge it as either a felony or a misdemeanor. It is important to note that, if charged as a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment is up to 1 year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. If charged as a felony, you are facing 16 months, 2 or 4 years in state prison.
There are many relevant facts that go into this type of criminal charge. For example, it is important to determine the level of intoxication, the blood alcohol concentration, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, the other driver’s conduct, the road conditions and other factors that may have contributed directly to causing the accident. Keep in mind that the prosecutor needs to establish that you were driving under the influence, that you negligently committed an unlawful act and that negligence caused the death of another person.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident where someone has been seriously hurt or died as a result, it is important to contact an attorney before making statements to law enforcement. Having an attorney on your side speak to the prosecutor’s office prior to charges being filed may lead to lesser charges getting filed or the possibility of settling some issues outside of court.
If you have been arrested for a DUI or vehicular manslaughter in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Culver City, Santa Monica or North Hollywood, contact attorney Ross Erlich before you make any other calls.