Is a deadly accident caused by drunk driving considered involuntary manslaughter in California? The state of California uses specific legal codes to handle fatal drunk driving accidents. You will not face “normal” involuntary manslaughter charges. Instead, you could face charges under:
- Penal Code Section 191.5(a)
- Penal Code Section 191.5(b)
These charges could lead to years of time in jail, fines, and other penalties. Find out how vehicular manslaughter charges differ from involuntary manslaughter charges in this article. You will also learn about some defenses for vehicular manslaughter accusations.
Learn More About PC 191.5(b) Charges in California
The court in California uses PC 191.5(b) charges to prosecute some drivers who cause a fatal accident. This charge represents vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence. Drivers exhibit ordinary negligence when they take actions that are not reasonable.
Drivers must also commit a dangerous or unlawful act to face charges under PC 191.5(b). Note that PC 191.5(b) is the less serious charge for vehicular manslaughter. Prosecutors often do not use this charge if you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI) at the time of your accident.
Review Charges for Gross Vehicular Manslaughter
You might also face charges for gross vehicular manslaughter after a DUI accident in California. Prosecutors use PC 191.5(a) to handle gross vehicular manslaughter charges. These charges are more serious than PC 191.5(b) accusations.
You should only face gross vehicular manslaughter if you show a gross lack of concern for the well-being of others while operating a motor vehicle. Driving under the influence often qualifies as a gross lack of concern. You may also face this charge for taking any option that could lead to:
- A severe bodily injury for another driver
- The death of another driver
You can get help learning more about vehicular manslaughter charges by reaching out to a DUI lawyer in California. Find out more about your case by calling us at (310) 997-4688.
Comparing Vehicular Manslaughter and Involuntary Manslaughter
Thus far, we’ve discussed the charges you would face for a DUI accident that led to a death. These charges are similar to Penal Code Section 192(b): Involuntary Manslaughter. However, you may face PC 192(b) charges if you cause another person’s death outside of a motor vehicle.
Involuntary manslaughter charges are generally more serious than vehicular manslaughter with ordinary negligence. They may be less severe than a charge for gross vehicular manslaughter, however. We’ll go over the penalties for these charges now.
Compare the Penalties for Manslaughter Charges in California
There are a number of different manslaughter charges used in California. These charges lead to different penalties. A lawyer can help you review the specific penalties you’d experience after a conviction. You might face:
Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter (Ordinary Negligence)
- Up to one year of jail time for a misdemeanor
- Up to four years of prison time for a felony
- Up to $1,000 in fines for a misdemeanor
- Up to $10,000 in fines for a felony
Penalties for Gross Vehicular Manslaughter
- Up to 10 years of prison time
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Penalties for Involuntary Manslaughter
- Up to four years of prison time
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Build a Defense for Vehicular Manslaughter Charges
A lawyer can help you defend yourself if you are accused of vehicular manslaughter after a drunk driving accident in California. Your lawyer could step in and argue that:
- You were not impaired by alcohol at the time of the accident.
- You were not at fault for the collision.
- The collision did not cause the other party’s death.
In some cases, more serious charges for gross vehicular manslaughter may get reduced. This could allow you to avoid prison time, even if you are convicted. A lawyer can work to block evidence against you to help you secure a plea bargain. In many cases, PC 191.5(b) charges are used as a plea bargain in California.
Your lawyer can also stand up for you in court. Contact us to get someone to build your defense right now. We can help you learn more about vehicular manslaughter charges. We’re standing by to provide you with the help you need after a DUI accident.
Ask a Lawyer if Drunk Driving Leads to Involuntary Manslaughter Charges
Take charge by contacting the Simmrin Law Group if you’re accused of causing a fatal drunk driving accident. These drunk driving accidents are not generally considered involuntary manslaughter. Instead, you could face vehicular manslaughter charges. Get more information from a DUI lawyer in Los Angeles. Learn more with a free consultation.
We’re ready to help you. Just complete our online contact form. You can also call us for help at (310) 997-4688.