DUI Manslaughter In Northern California
Any DUI accident has the potential to cause a driver to face serious criminal charges, but if someone loses their life in the accident this is the most serious of drunk driving-related charges one may face in The North Bay.
At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC we understand how to deal with these complex cases. Vehicular manslaughter is an offense for which a defendant will need the most aggressive and experienced criminal defense counsel possible.
Anytime there is a motor vehicle-related death where drinking or drugs were involved, there is a good chance that law enforcement officers will place the blame on the person driving under the influence regardless of whether or not he or she did anything to cause the fatality.
Santa Rosa DUI attorneys Michael A. Fiumara and Justin O. Milligan have extensive experience in assisting clients in the face of all types of misdemeanor and felony DUI (driving under the influence) charges, and are ready to put their knowledge to work for you.
If you or someone you know has been accused of vehicular manslaughter, you will need legal counsel immediately. You are at risk of facing years of imprisonment in state prison if you are convicted, as well as suffering the serious consequences of having a “strike” on your criminal record under California’s Three Strike Law.
With proper representation by an experienced DUI defense lawyer, however, you have the extremely valuable opportunity of avoiding a conviction altogether – or at the very least facing lesser charges and penalties.
Our Santa Rosa DUI lawyers can conduct an independent investigation of the accident scene to determine what really happened, work with experts to analyze the accuracy of field sobriety or chemical tests, determine whether your legal rights were violated during the arrest, and present any evidence that could allow for the charges or penalties to be reduced or dropped.
Penalties for DUI Manslaughter
If convicted of DUI manslaughter in the North Bay, a defendant may face the following penalties:
-Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, with Gross Negligence: up to 1 year in jail, or up to 4, 6 or 10 years in prison.
-Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated: up to 1 year in county jail, or up to 16 months, 2 years or 4 years in state prison.
Specific penalties may vary depending on the particular circumstances of the accident, the defendant’s past criminal record, and more.
Second-Degree Murder (California PC 187)
A person may be charged with second-degree while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs if malice is believed to have been a factor. Murder involving malice implies that the person either acted intentionally to cause the unlawful death of a human being or fetus or acted in a manner that he or she knew could lead to fatal injuries. Second-degree murder is considered a felony in California. The penalty that accompanies a second-degree murder conviction while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is 15 years to life in prison.
In California, vehicular homicide involving DUI/DWI is considered a “wobbler” offense, which means that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If charged as a felony, the defendant will have to face time in state prison. If this is not the driver’s first DUI offense, 15 years to a lifetime prison term may be imposed.
Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, Without Gross Negligence (California PC 192(c) (3)
This is a “wobbler” offense with a penalty that can lead to time in state prison.
Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated, With Gross Negligence (California PC 191.5)
The penalty for this conviction comes with a state prison sentence of up to 10 years. However, if this is not a driver’s first DUI offense of this kind, Courtney’s Law could bump the penalty to 15 years to life in state prison.
Hit and Run Causing Death or Injury (California Vehicle Code Section 20001)
A DUI Hit and Run involving manslaughter or homicide will increase accompanying penalties by at least 5 years in state prison.
Contact a Santa Rosa DUI Attorney Today
Just because you have been arrested and charged with a crime does not mean you are or will be found guilty. There are legal remedies and strategies that can secure the best outcome possible for your case.
Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC provides our DUI clients with an aggressive and effective defense.
Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.