Fresno Vehicular Homicide & Manslaughter Lawyer
What is Vehicular Manslaughter in California?
Under California law (California Penal Code 192(c) PC), vehicular manslaughter occurs when an individual is operating a vehicle while engaging in an unlawful and/or negligent manner which ultimately causes the death of another person.
This form of criminal negligence is also defined as Involuntary Vehicular Manslaughter which includes the following categories:
Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence
Vehicular Manslaughter without Gross Negligence
Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated
However, if the courts determine that the vehicular death included forethought or malice then the guilty party can be charged with Second Degree Murder. To prove this claim there needs to be specific evidence that proves that the defendant had awareness or exhibited a conscious disregard for human life.
Due to the negligent factors of vehicular manslaughter the charges can sometimes be vague. Contact our experienced firm for more information regarding your legal options.
Vehicular Manslaughter Penalties
Vehicular Manslaughter is typically considered a “wobbler” offense which means it can be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the extent of the negligence involved as well as any prior criminal history. In light of this the penalties for vehicular manslaughter vary wildly as multiple factors are included in the courts sentencing decision.
Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter - Summary probation, up to 1 years in jail, & up to $1k in fines.
Felony Vehicular Manslaughter - Formal probation, up to 6 years in prison, & up to $10k in fines.
Second Degree Murder - If you are charged with second degree murder in your vehicular manslaughter case you could be looking at 15 years to life in prison.
Additionally, many of these penalties come with your driver’s license being revoked based on the facts of the case. This revocation is typically over 3 years following the date your license is legally revoked.
If you have been involved in a car accident that has claimed another’s life it is important to always seek legal counsel. Our experienced firm is standing by to help you retain your future. Contact us today.