Orange County Violent Crimes Attorney
Vehicular homicide involving a
DUI carries the threat of serious penalties upon conviction. If you have been
charged with or are under investigation for a drunk driving accident which
resulted in the death of another person - which is known as a "Watson
Murder" in our state - it is very likely that you are facing penalties
that have caused you many sleepless nights. It is time to take a step
toward protecting your rights, your freedom and your future. It is time
to speak with a dedicated Orange County criminal defense attorney.
When you contact an attorney from the
Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, you are enlisting the help of a professional who will work tirelessly
to build an effective vehicular manslaughter defense for your case that
will help you avoid serious consequences including prison, fines and a
criminal record that would follow you for years. Our firm is known for
getting results, and with 20 years of experience, we are ready to take
on any case, no matter how challenging.
Types of Vehicular Manslaughter
Our legal team is highly skilled in the two areas of law that comprise
a vehicular manslaughter defense: DUI and
homicide. In building a defense for your case, an attorney from our team will analyze
all elements of the stop and resulting arrest, including search issues,
Miranda rights, field sobriety tests and blood alcohol tests. We place
the burden of proof on the prosecution, requiring the District Attorney
to overcome all weaknesses in the case to prove that you were the driver
who caused the accident.
The penalties for these cases are defined under Penal Code 192(c) PC, and
this offense is a wobbler offense. This means that the district attorneys
may opt to charge you with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending
on the facts of your specific case and your criminal history, especially
in regards to your previous DUI convictions.
Some of the penalties for a felony DUI with injury in the state of California
include sixteen months to four years in the California State Prison, and
the possibility of an additional and consecutive prison sentence of three
to six years depending on how many people you have injured and the extent
of their injuries. You may also receive a possible "strike"
on your record because of California's Three Strike's Law, as
well as up to $10,000 in fines. Some offenders may also be sentenced to
an 18 to 30 month alcohol/drug program and may have a Habitual Traffic
Offender (HTO) status for three years.
There are also specific penalties for cases that are categorized under
Penal Code 191.5(a) California's "gross vehicular manslaughter
while intoxicated law". You may violate this law when you have acted
with "gross negligence", which essentially is an "I don't
care what happens" type of attitude. This case is always a felony
in California and the penalties may include up to 10 years in California
State Prison, or fifteen years to life in state prison if you have two
or more prior DUI convictions.
About the Watson Murder Rule
In our state, when a drunk driving accident results in the death of a person,
regardless of whether the victim was in another vehicle, in the car with
the drunk driver, driving a motorcycle, riding a bicycle or walking, it
is referred to as a Watson Murder. The Watson Murder Rule involves the
theory of "implied malice," so the prosecution may attempt to
use the fact that a DUI suspect has previously been convicted of drunk
driving to prove demonstrate that the act was not merely an accident but
an act of malice. This charge is usually reserved for repeat DUI offenders,
which are typically people who have been educated as to the dangers of
driving under the influence.
Orange County Defense Attorney
Our firm, the Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, represents clients in
Fullerton and all throughout Orange County. Call today for a free case
evaluation, or complete our
online evaluation form to get started. We understand the serious nature of these DUI charges
and we will devote the personal time and attention that your case deserves
and needs. Once we review your situation, we could help you take the first
steps in your defense.
today to learn how you could find freedom from your criminal charges.