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Vehicular Manslaughter

Vehicular Manslaughter If you are driving a car and cause an accident that results in the death of another person due to negligence or violating a traffic law, you may be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This charge is very serious and could potentially alter your life forever, which is why it's in your best interest to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away so they can build a defense case while the evidence is still fresh. At Kroger Law Group we understand the large impact this charge could have on your life. Call our office at (323) 655-5700 to schedule a free consultation.

What Is Vehicular Manslaughter?

Vehicular manslaughter occurs when a motorist causes the death of another person by negligently committing an unlawful act that is not a felony, or a lawful act that can cause death. If you're driving a car and you cause the death of another person by committing an unlawful act that is a felony, you will be charged with murder.

The most common way the charge of vehicular manslaughter occurs is when the deadly accident happens due to someone driving under the influence of alcohol, which is called vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Another common reason for vehicular manslaughter is texting while driving, as well as excessive speeding. Depending on the details of the case as well as the driver's criminal history vehicular manslaughter may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter in California

Under California Penal Code section 192, vehicular manslaughter is driving a vehicle with negligence that results in the death of a human being. The penalties for this crime can be divided according to the level of negligence you committed: gross negligence or ordinary negligence. Gross negligence is more than absentmindedness or an error in judgment. It's when a person acts recklessly and generates a possibility of death or great bodily injury. This act would be far removed from how an ordinary person would act under the same circumstances, and it shows blatant disregard for human life.

Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence
  • You committed a misdemeanor, infraction or a lawful act while driving a car in a way that might cause death.
  • The act was dangerous to human life.
  • You committed the misdemeanor, infraction or a lawful act with gross negligence.
  • The act resulted in the death of another person.
Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter
  • You committed a misdemeanor, infraction or a lawful act in an unlawful manner while driving a car.
  • The act was dangerous to human life.
  • You committed the misdemeanor, infraction or a lawful act with ordinary negligence.
  • The act resulted in the death of another person.

The penalties for vehicular manslaughter depend on whether you acted with gross negligence or ordinary negligence. If you acted with gross negligence, then the crime is a "wobbler" in the state of California, meaning it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you acted with ordinary negligence, then you will be charged with a misdemeanor.

For a misdemeanor charge you face:

  • 1 year in county jail.
  • A fine of up to $1,000.

For a felony charge you face:

  • 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
  • A fine of up to $10,000.
Legal Defenses To Vehicular Manslaughter

Being a part of an accident where someone loses their life is a tragic and traumatic circumstance. Having to face vehicular manslaughter charges on top of that can be a truly agonizing experience. But having an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner can help you fight these charges. We can build a strong defense for you and help you get through this dark time.

Some common defenses include:

  • Your actions didn't cause the victim's death.
  • You did not act with negligence.
  • You were dealing with an emergency and acted reasonably in the situation.
Contact A Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

Any degree of vehicular manslaughter charges is serious and can have long lasting consequences. This is why if you are facing vehicular manslaughter charges you need to have a criminal defense lawyer. At Kroger Law Group we understand how much this charge can impact your life and we fight hard to get you a favorable result so that you can move on with your life. Call our office at (323) 655-5700 to schedule a free consultation.

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