Fresno DUI Attorneys Serving the Central Valley
Free Consultation
Vehicular Manslaughter These Are the Times When You Need the Best

Fresno DUI Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney

Car Accident

Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated in California

The California Penal Code (PC 191.5(a)) defines the offense of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, which is considered to be more severe because it includes the element of gross negligence as it is associated with vehicular manslaughter.

The burden of proof is again on the district attorney and it must be shown that:

  • You were driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
  • While you were driving under the influence, you committed an additional wrongful act;
  • You committed this additional wrongful act with the requisite gross negligence; and
  • Your grossly negligent wrongful act caused the death of another.

Don't face vehicular manslaughter charges alone. Get skillful defense from our Fresno vehicular manslaughter lawyer and contact us today.

Vehicular Manslaughter Without Gross Negligence in California

California statute 191.5(b)—the death of the individual was "either the proximate result of the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to a felony, but without gross negligence, or the proximate result of the commission of a lawful act that might produce death, in an unlawful manner, but without gross negligence."

As with all criminal matters, the burden of proof for this offense is with the district attorney and in order to meet that burden, the prosecution must show the following elements:

  • That the driver was operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
  • That the driver negligently committed an unlawful act, or a lawful but dangerous act, in addition to driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol; and
  • That the driver's negligence caused the death of another.

What is the Difference?

The two laws differ due to the element of gross negligence, which means that "a person acts in this manner when he acts in a reckless manner that creates a high risk of death or bodily injury that a reasonable person would consider to be dangerous." Thus, the standard of gross negligence is considered to be at a higher level than that of simple carelessness or inattentiveness.

Accordingly, these two crimes involve different penalties. Because gross vehicular manslaughter involves the additional element the penalty is generally more severe.

  • Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated: A sentence to a term in the county jail for no more than one year or a sentence of a prison term of 16 months, two or four years.
  • Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated: A sentence to a term in prison of four, six, or 10 years.

However, as with most crimes, the penalty may be enhanced if you have been previously convicted of a similar charge or charges in the past. In accordance with the law, thus, should you be charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated after having been previously convicted of the crime, the possible sentence may be imprisonment for a term of life with the opportunity to seek parole after serving 15 years.

Get Defense to Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

If you are facing charges related to the offense DUI in the San Joaquin Valley, including Fresno, Kings County, Madera County and Tulare County, do not think that your only choice is to plead guilty. Take a moment to contact the Fresno vehicular manslaughter attorneys at Wapner Jones, PC and schedule a consultation in order to discuss the facts of your case and be advised of your options.

Facing charges for vehicular manslaughter? Call our Fresno vehicular manslaughter lawyer at (559) 257-4707 today.

You've Been Arrested for a DUI

What Happens Now?

Meet Our Attorneys

Recognized Among the Best in the Central Valley
  • David E. Jones
  • Terry A. Wapner
  • David E. Jones David E. Jones


    About Attorney David E. Jones DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyer Trusted in Fresno Since 1996 David E. Jones is a Central Valley ...
    David E. Jones Photo
  • Terry A. Wapner Terry A. Wapner

    Founder In Memoriam

    About Terry A. Wapner Terry A. Wapner has been practicing criminal law in California's San Joaquin Valley for over 31 years, ...
    Terry A. Wapner Photo

Firm Accolades

Award-Winning Attorneys
  • Martindale Hubbell
  • Lawyer Scientist
  • CA DUI Lawyers Association
  • National College of DUI Defense
  • Avvo 10.0
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Contact Wapner Jones, PC

Schedule a Free Consultation Today
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.