DUI And Felony Manslaughter Arrest In O.C. Crash That Killed 1
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.