Driving under the influence (DUI) in California may have serious results. Some drivers cause accidents while operating a vehicle under the influence. These accidents can result in injuries to other drivers. Some accidents are even fatal. In this situation, drivers may face charges for:
- California Penal Code Section 191.5(a): Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
- California Penal Code Section 191.5(b): Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
A conviction for either charge could result in harsh penalties. This includes incarceration. How many years in prison do you get for a DUI manslaughter conviction? You may face up to 10 years in prison after a conviction. Find out more about these charges and penalties for a conviction now.
Charges for Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
PC 191.5(b) charges are generally less severe than those used to prosecute gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Drivers face these charges if they:
- Operate a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs
- Take another action that causes an accident
- End up killing another person in the accident
Drivers convicted under PC 191.5(b) may face a number of serious penalties, including incarceration. PC 191.5(b) is a wobbler. Prosecutors may charge it as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor conviction may result in jail time of up to one year.
Felony charges are more serious. A felony conviction may result in up to four years of prison time. You may also need to pay thousands of dollars after a conviction. After you are released from prison, you’ll likely end up on probation for a lengthy amount of time.
Charges for Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated
Gross vehicular manslaughter represents a serious criminal charge in California. This charge only applies if drivers demonstrate “gross negligence.” Gross negligence involves:
- Acting in a very reckless way
- Taking actions that endanger the health and well-being of others
Prosecutors may accuse you of gross negligence if you acted in a way that would seem dangerous to a “reasonable” person. Carelessness is not considered gross negligence. Drivers must take actions that directly put others at risk and they must show disregard for the safety of others to be charged with this.
PC 191.5(a) charges are always felonies in California. A conviction under PC 191.5(a) may result in up to 10 years of prison time. You may also face up to $10,000 in fines for a PC 191.5(a) conviction. Note that these are only the penalties for a first-time PC 191.5(a) conviction.
Drivers with previous criminal charges may face harsher penalties. In fact, in some cases, you could end up facing life in prison for a DUI manslaughter conviction. Find out more about the effects of a PC 191.5(a) conviction by calling (310) 896-2723.
Additional Legal Results of a DUI Manslaughter Case
DUI manslaughter charges only apply if you were in an accident that led to a fatality. You may face criminal and civil charges after such an accident. The family of the individual who died in the accident may seek additional compensation from you.
You may end up paying restitution to the family of the deceased after a collision. These payments are in addition to court fines. You could end up facing incredibly high costs if you are found to be at-fault for a DUI accident in California.
You may want to get help from a lawyer if you are accused of causing a DUI accident.
Defenses for DUI Manslaughter Charges in California
You will not automatically go to prison after you are charged with DUI manslaughter. A DUI lawyer may work on a defense for you after an arrest. Your lawyer can help you successfully resolve PC 191.5(a) or PC 191.5(b) charges by working to show that:
- You were not driving under the influence at the time of the accident.
- You did not display gross negligence before the collision.
- You acted in the way that a reasonable person would.
- You did not cause the accident.
Your lawyer can work to help you secure a not guilty verdict in court or to block evidence against you and build your defense.
Discuss the Results of a DUI Manslaughter Charge with a Lawyer
You may end up spending 10 or more years in prison after a conviction for DUI manslaughter. You may also face fines and other penalties. Start working to address any DUI manslaughter charges right now with the Simmrin Law Group.
Allow our DUI lawyers to spring into action for you. Fill out our online contact form today. You can also call (310) 896-2723 to speak with a member of our team.
Discuss your charges now with a free consultation.