The law enforcement authorities reported that a drunk driver was arrested for a case of gross vehicular manslaughter. The driver was driving at a very high speed and lost control, heading straight into oncoming traffic. This resulted in a head-on collision and the driver caused a fatal accident.
According to a witnesses, the offender was speeding at 80 mph in a residential area. The driver of another vehicle was killed on the spot. The offender was fine – he only fractured his leg and received a head trauma. He was then taken into custody by the law enforcement officers who arrived on the scene. The offender was found to be driving under the heavy influence of alcohol.
There are two main categories for vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence – with gross negligence or without it. The California Supreme Court defines gross negligence as: “gross negligence is the exercise of so slight a degree of care as to raise the presumption of conscious indifference to the consequences……The test is objective: whether a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have been aware of the risk involved.” If an individual was convicted for gross vehicular manslaughter, he or she may be facing from 4 to 10 years in a state prison. If a person was convicted for intoxicated vehicular manslaughter and without any gross negligence, he or she may be sentenced to up to one year in a county jail if it is a misdemeanor. If it is a felony, the individual will be sentenced to up to 4 years inside the state prison.
When trying to figure out if gross negligence was involved in an accident, the court takes several factors into consideration. These will include the blood or breath alcohol test results, the way in which the driver was operating the vehicle, and whether or not the individual was previously convicted for a DUI offense. For the above-mentioned case, the very fact that the driver was driving at a high speed in the residential area is going to play a major role in the prosecution’s strategy.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or any drugs is never a good idea. After all, you are not just putting your own life in danger, you are also endangering the lives of people around you – your passengers, other drivers, and even pedestrians.
Law enforcement authorities are not taking DUI offenders lightly. On the contrary, they are using harsh legal penalties to ensure that such accidents don’t take place in the future. Hence, the legal consequences may be quite severe and it doesn’t really matter if it is a major felony or a misdemeanor. One way or the other, you are going to lose your driver’s license, you are going to have to pay expensive fines, and you will need to attend DUI classes as well. Furthermore, you may be sentenced to community service and sent to county jail or state prison, depending on how harsh the accident was.
Even if you were in a DUI accident, there is still a chance that you will not have to face all of the above-mentioned consequences at once. You only need to get in touch with a qualified, experienced legal professional to make the most from your defense.
John Williams, ESQ
The Sacramento DUI Specialists