Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney in Los Angeles, California
Millions of drivers occupy California roadways every day. Because of the high volume of automobile traffic, general citations and minor auto accidents are not uncommon. However, drivers sometimes make mistakes that lead to the death of another driver or passenger. When this happens in California, they may find themselves at risk of being convicted of a vehicular manslaughter charge.
Drivers involved in fatal car accidents can experience unbearable grief and trauma once they have time to process the situation. Dealing with vehicular homicide charges will only intensify this distress. In addition, prosecutors in California take vehicular manslaughter seriously. Not only does a vehicular manslaughter conviction impose harsh legal penalties, but many individuals also experience collateral consequences such as loss of employment and relational abandonment by others. A vehicular manslaughter conviction will undoubtedly change your life.
It is important for individuals who have been charged or accused of vehicular manslaughter to reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you have been charged with this crime and you live in the Los Angeles area, fight for your freedom and protect your rights by partnering with us at The Law Office of John Goalwin. With over 45 years of legal experience, our attorney has a proven track record of reducing and dismissing criminal charges. Attorney John Goalwin has developed a personalized approach to discussing your rights and your options for dealing with vehicular manslaughter charges.
Vehicular Manslaughter in California
Vehicular manslaughter is charged if an individual causes the death of another person through the use of a motor vehicle. Though people usually think of vehicular manslaughter within the context of drunk driving, the charge can have a more broad application. The charge of vehicular manslaughter can apply to a wide range of incidents that do not include the consumption of any alcohol. If someone causes the death of another individual while operating a vehicle, they can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Aside from being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, such a charge can result from failing to obey traffic signs or speed limits, texting while driving, road rage, racing, and other common road violations.
Proving Vehicular Manslaughter
In order to prove that you are guilty of vehicular manslaughter, a prosecutor must show that you committed an illegal act and acted with either ordinary or gross negligence, resulting in the death of another individual.
The prosecutor may look at any video of the crash, the damage to your vehicle (as well as the other individual’s, if the other person was driving), witness testimony, or police reports to seek to prove the charge. The prosecutor may also present evidence that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including breathalyzer test results or results from other forms of testing conducted at the time of your arrest.
Penalties For Vehicular Manslaughter
If you’ve caused the death of another person while driving, you could face either a misdemeanor or a felony charge. This is what is called a “wobbler offense.” A wobbler offense is a crime that can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. It depends on whether you acted in gross negligence or ordinary negligence.
If your misdemeanor charge includes gross negligence, you could face up to a year in county jail. If the resulting charge is felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, however, you could be sentenced to up to six years in state prison.
Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney Serving Los Angeles, California
If you are facing a vehicular manslaughter charge, you’re probably already dealing with the guilt and shame of the accident. It may seem like everyone is against you and has already assumed you are guilty or irresponsible. At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we carefully and compassionately examine the evidence in order to form a strategic defense that gives you the best chance to move forward. If you live in Los Angeles, including Torrance, Norwalk, Van Nuys, and Compton, contact us for a consultation.