Fresno Drunk Driving Defense for Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated

Nov 22, 2017

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Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the most serious drunk driving charge you can face. California Penal Code (PC) section 191.5 (a) defines gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

CA PC 191.5 (a) is an offense you need to understand, and legal jargon isn't always reader-friendly, so here is a guide that breaks it down:

Making Sense of California Penal Code 191.5 (a)

"Gross" refers to gross negligence. To be grossly negligent means you acted in complete disregard for safety.

Manslaughter means you acted in a way that caused death of a human being, and that you did not intend death, but should have known your actions could result in killing a person.

Intoxicated includes being influenced by drugs or alcohol at the time of the offense.

The bottom-line: To be guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated means while influenced by drugs or alcohol and driving a vehicle you acted in a way that completely disregarded safety and you should have known acting in that way could result in killing a person, and your recklessness caused the death of a human being.

What is the Charge?

California Penal Code Section 191.5 (a), gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, is always penalized as a felony.

How is it Punished?

Under California law, a gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated felony charge can result in a state prison sentence of four, six, or ten years.

Criminal consequences imposed by the court will vary based on your criminal history. According to California statutes, if your prior convictions include two or more DUI offenses or a CA PC 191.5 offense, or prior DUI causing injury (VC 23153) you will face a state prison sentence of 15-years to life.

If your case involves additional factors or a criminal history, you will face severe state penalties.

How Does a Conviction Happen?

If charged and convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the state of California, you will face a felony conviction and subsequent sentencing for your specific circumstances.

To be charged and convicted under California Penal Code 191.5 (a), the court must find you guilty of all components of the criminal offense. To be found guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, the prosecution must use evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were driving while influenced by drugs or alcohol according to DUI laws in California, you acted in a way that could cause death either lawfully or unlawfully by breaking an additional law, you were grossly negligent by recklessly disregarding safety, and that a person's death was directly caused by your gross negligence.

If the prosecution fails to use evidence to prove you are guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of each component of a gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charge and the court does not find you guilty of the crime, you will not face a felony charge.

You Need to Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal defense attorney can work to mitigate dire circumstances of your case; for instance, showing that you were not grossly negligent, and the accidental death was without recklessness disregard for safety. The criminal consequences for causing the death of another person while driving intoxicated are severe.

You need a criminal defense lawyer to defend you against California Penal Code statute 191.5 (a). At Mitchell Law Group, we are extensively experienced in criminal defense, promoting your case, and advocating for your rights.

We will build the most compelling case possible to prove your innocence and defend you from a wrongful conviction.

We want to start building your defense today. Contact us, the Mitchell Law Group, now.




Category: DUI Defense

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.


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Michael E. Mitchell, at the Mitchell Law Group, Inc., is one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Fresno, California. He has over a decade of experience handling DUI cases throughout the Central Valley, including in Clovis, Madera, Tulare, Visalia. He is a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner under the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. His advice and knowledge is, routinely, sought after by other attorneys practicing in the area of DUI defense. He is an expert in the area of DUI defense in both Federal, State, and on the Appellate level. If your looking for the best DUI Lawyer in Fresno to handle your case, give us a call today to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.