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 occurs when an individual recklessly causes the death of another person through the use of any type of motor vehicle. Although people often think of vehicular manslaughter in the context of drinking and driving, the charge actually has a much broader application. The charge of vehicular manslaughter itself can apply to a variety of situations that do not include alcohol. If a person recklessly causes the death of another while operating a motor vehicle, they could be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Aside from being under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a vehicular manslaughter charge can stem from not obeying traffic signs or speed limits, texting while driving, road rage, street racing, and more.
Proving Vehicular Manslaughter
To prove you are guilty of vehicular manslaughter, the prosecutor needs to show that you committed an infraction or misdemeanor and you acted with ordinary or gross negligence and this resulted in the death of another person.
The prosecution may look at available footage of the crash, the damage done to your vehicle (and the other person’s, if they were driving), witness statements, and police records to attempt to prove their case. They might also bring in evidence that you were intoxicated, such as breathalyzer results or results from other drug testing conducted after your arrest.
Penalties For Vehicular Manslaughter
If you’ve caused the death of another person while driving, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony since this is what’s 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 you’re charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, then you might spend up to one year in county jail. But if you’re charged with felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, then you might spend up to six years in state prison. If you committed ordinary negligence, you could be charged with a misdemeanor and spend up to one year in county jail.
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.