Vehicular Manslaughter

Facing Charges? Contact Our Proven Criminal Defense Lawyer in San Diego County.

Vehicular manslaughter involves the unlawful killing of a person through negligent operation of a vehicle. The individuals may be pedestrians, drivers, or passengers of other vehicle that was hit, and even the passenger of your own vehicle. These charges can be classified as "wobbler offenses," which means that the charge can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

Our skilled San Diego County criminal defense attorney understands how complicated vehicular manslaughter cases may be and can use our 80+ years of combined experience to advocate for you.

Fighting Vehicular Manslaughter Charges

Unfortunately, some law enforcement officers jump to conclusions or fail to adhere to proper procedure when they arrive at the scene of the accident. They may not investigate the full extent of the evidence or they may even fail to discover true cause of the accident. Moreover, the officers may instantly accuse you of driving under the influence due to your involvement in the accident. If you are asked to take a chemical test and the results implicate you, do not lose hope! Our firm can still fight your charges and challenge any evidence against you.

Retaining the right DUI defense lawyer will be extremely important in cases involving alleged vehicular manslaughter and DUI.

Some of the defenses that can be argued on your behalf:

  • You were not the driver of the vehicle
  • Your actions were not negligent
  • The chemical test results were inaccurate
  • A police officer violated your rights in obtaining evidence against you
  • Your test results were handled incorrectly
  • Your actions could not have caused the person's death

Another tactic that may be useful for your case may be to enlist the aid of professional accident reconstruction specialists to recreate the accident. This can provide better insight as to whether or not it can be determined beyond a reasonable doubt that your actions were or were not the cause of the collision.

Vehicular Manslaughter and DUI

Handling a vehicular manslaughter case requires substantial expertise with automobile related accidents or DUI charges. These cases involve a highly charged situation with someone’s death coupled with a necessary scientific analysis of the mechanism of the accident and so an experienced DUI lawyer is a must. In San Diego, if you are charged with gross vehicular manslaughter you are facing the potential of 6 years in prison. If the circumstances are aggravated you might get a substantial prison term even if it is your first offense. With alcohol or drugs and with any prior history of alcohol or drugs the penalties can be even higher. The laws on these alcohol related driving deaths are ever changing and the penalties are increasing. In fact, depending upon your prior record you could be facing a life term in prison.

Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence

Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence is essentially when you operate a motor vehicle under circumstances that are aggravated, reckless, or flagrant and are contrary to a proper regard for human life. This could be any combination of reckless driving without alcohol and/or driving under the influence of alcohol taking into consideration your blood alcohol level and your manner of driving. If your driving act is aggravated enough the district attorney’s office might charge the case as a second degree murder exposing you to a sentence of 15 to life.

If your vehicular manslaughter case is based on road rage you should also read the articles on murder and assault/attempted murder. Since road rage is a type of assault many of the principles involved in assault cases will apply.

You will immediately need resources and access to investigators and experts. Your criminal defense attorney should know the area’s best accident investigators and accident reconstruction experts. These experts are vital to helping you figure out what really happened and present your side of the case. You can bet that the prosecution and law enforcement won’t be helping you prove your defense. You will need your own experts to do that.

These cases are prosecuted aggressively in San Diego county with prosecutors who are skilled and aggressive. Don’t take the situation lightly just because you have led a crime free productive life until this moment. When someone dies at the hands of another’s recklessness the family of the victim are adamant that someone “pay” for the death. Expect them to pressure the district attorney to impose that maximum sentence.