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VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER

“I Was Involved in a DUI and Crashed and Someone Was Injured or Killed…”

What Are the Prosecutor’s Options?

Former Deputy District Attorney Pat Carey knows how prosecutors think when charging, investigating, and prosecuting cases in which there was a traffic accident and someone died as a result. This insider information and experienced is unmatched by any attorney who claims to be a “former prosecutor.” Pat personally filed, prosecuted, and even trained police officers on how to investigate these offenses.

As you will see below, there are various ways a crime can be charged in this situation. This is where having an attorney like Pat Carey with insider contacts and information in the District Attorney’s office can come in hand. Pat can have a pre-filing interview with the District Attorney after you or your loved one’s arrest, but prior to the filing of your case. This could be the difference between you getting charged with murder and manslaughter, and ending up in state prison for life or simply getting probation with minimal jail time. An attorney like former Deputy District Attorney Pat Carey pays dividends right from the outset and before your case even makes it to court.

If, as a result of the collision you were in, someone has died, and the police are able to produce evidence that you were intoxicated, the District Attorney has several filing options when considering how to proceed with you case:

Filing Option 1: Murder (So-called “Watson Murder”) (Felony)

Charges: Penal Code § 187(a) – Second Degree Murder (and additional counts for each additional victim)

Punishment: 15 years to life in state prison for each charge.

What is the DA’s Filing Theory?

The DA will look to your driving history and conduct show that you acted with “conscious disregard for human life” while driving your car. DA will use prior traffic tickets, a prior DUI, or other conduct to show you intentionally drove knowing these consequences.

Filing Option 2: Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated (Felony)

Charges: Penal Code § 191.5(a)

Punishment: Sentencing range of 4, 6, or 10 years for each count

What is the DA’s Filing Theory?

That your driving pattern in conjunction with your intoxication amounted to “gross negligence”. Gross negligence verses ordinary negligence is a matter of degree and becomes the most complicated and fluid issue of the case goes to jury trial.

Filing Option 3: Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated (Felony)

Charges: Penal Code § 191.5(b)

Punishment: Sentencing range of 16 months, 2 years, or 4 years for each count.

What is the DA’s Filing Theory?

Your driving pattern in conjunction with his intoxication amounted to “ordinary negligence” rather than “gross negligence”.

Although noting in ideal when you find yourself in this situation, this is the ideal charge to receive if you were DUI and someone was killed as a result. Why? THIS CHARGE IS WHAT IS CALLED A “WOBBLER,” MEANING IT CAN LATER BE REDUCED TO A MISDEMEANOR. This process of course, would require the services of an attorney that has similar experience and insider connections like former Deputy District Attorney Pat Carey.

If, as a result of the collision you were in, someone has died, and the police are NOT able to produce evidence that you were intoxicated, the District Attorney has several filing options when considering how to proceed with you case:

Filing Option 1: Vehicular Manslaughter (Felony Charge; Gross Negligence)

Charges: Penal Code § 191(c)(1)

Punishment: 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison for each count

What is the DA’s Filing Theory?

That your driving pattern in conjunction with your intoxication amounted to “gross negligence”. Gross negligence verses ordinary negligence is a matter of degree and becomes the most complicated and fluid issue of the case goes to jury trial.

Filing Option 2: Vehicular Manslaughter (Misdemeanor Charge; Ordinary Negligence)

Charges: Penal Code § 191(c)(2)

Punishment: 1 year in county jail for each victim

What is the DA’s Filing Theory?

Your driving pattern in conjunction with his intoxication amounted to “ordinary negligence” rather than “gross negligence”.

Case Results

See How We've Helped Other People in Your Shoes
  • Cases Dismissed Los Angeles Superior Court, Long Beach
  • Probation Terminated Los Angeles - Central Criminal Courts Building
  • Charges Reduced Rancho Cucamonga Courthouse
  • Reduced Bail Top Torrance Courthouse
  • Case Dismissed Top Torrance Courthouse
  • “Found Pat to represent me on a case after I made a dumb mistake. I was completely clueless. Pat made is so much less stressful and most of all he negotiated a deal that ended up getting my case dismissed.” - Kristin B.
  • “Pat helped me with a troubling legal situation.  He made a very stressful process stress-free and was always available to explain each step of the process.” - Thomas B.
  • “He is exceptionally talented and knows his way around a courtroom better than most lawyers I’ve met. Pat is smart, aggressive and results oriented.” - Alan J.

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