Vehicular Manslaughter Defense Attorney in Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita Criminal Defense Lawyer

Are you facing vehicular manslaughter charges? According to California criminal law, vehicular manslaughter is a violent crime that comes about when a driver violates the traffic code and causes a fatal accident. The driver does not have to be driving under the influence to be charged with vehicular manslaughter. If you were driving recklessly or negligently in any way and someone dies as a result, then you could be charged with California vehicular manslaughter.

When it comes to fatal accidents, the prosecution tends to go after the maximum possible sentence. Whenever someone dies in a motor vehicle accident, police officers are quick to file formal charges in hopes to land the suspect in prison. With someone else's blood on your hands, you can't afford to retain just any criminal defense attorney. You must contact Barnholtz & Kugler as soon as possible. The sooner you speak with a Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyer at my firm, the sooner you can begin to build your case and prepare for trial.

Was alcohol the cause of the accident?

If you were found driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol after causing a fatal accident, then you could be charged with Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated. In cases of this nature you are not only treated as a DUI suspect, but you will also have to pay the consequences for the loss of life. In order to be found guilty of this charge, your BAC level must have been .08% or higher and you must be found guilty of committing a misdemeanor traffic infraction that resulted in the death of another. A gross vehicular manslaughter DUI charge is placed upon people who are not just careless, but grossly negligent while driving on the road. So what constitutes being grossly negligent?

In order to be found grossly negligent, you must be found guilty of one of the following:

  • Drive in such a reckless way that it could easily cause someone great bodily injury or put people at high risk of death
  • Drive in a manner that no reasonable person would, given the circumstances

Not only will the prosecution have to prove that you were driving under the influence and that you committed a traffic violation, they will also need establish that your actions contributed to the death of the victim. This means that they need to establish that you played a major role in causing their death.

Vehicular Manslaughter Penalties in California

According to the California Penal Code Section 192(c) PC, vehicular manslaughter is considered to be a "wobbler" crime. This means that depending on the specifics of your case, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony crime. The varying penalties for vehicular manslaughter include:

  • Vehicular Manslaughter (Not Involving Drugs or Alcohol) – This is a wobbler crime. A misdemeanor is punishable for up to one year in jail. A felony charge could to a prison sentence of 2-10 years.
  • Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated- This is also a wobbler crime. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you could be forced to pay a fine of $1,000 and spend a year in jail. If convicted as a felony, you could face two or four years in a state prison with an additional six-year sentence if the victim sustained serious bodily injuries. You could also be forced to pay a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated- This crime is always considered to be a felony crime. With this charge, you could be facing up to ten years in prison, or if the victim suffered severe bodily injuries, then you could serve an additional 3-6 years. If you have two or more previous DUI convictions on your record, then you could face life in prison.

Violent Crime Lawyer Serving Santa Clarita

With over 15 years of experience, my firm has diligently defended the rights of the criminally accused here in Santa Clarita. I, Brad Barnholtz, am passionate about criminal defense law- this is what I do on a daily basis and I am highly adept in the latest defense strategies and tactics. When clients choose to work with Barnholtz & Kugler, they can feel confident knowing that their rights and best interests always come first. My firm will work tirelessly to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. I have defended against serious felony crimes, and I am not afraid to relentlessly seek justice on your behalf.

Contact a Santa Clarita criminal defense attorney from my firm today to schedule a free initial case evaluation.