Driving drunk can result in severe consequences, but when it involves the death of another the offense is far more serous and the potential penalties are far greater. California Drunk-driving offenses that involve the death of another person are typically classified as vehicular manslaughter, second-degree murder, or vehicular homicide. Experienced California DUI attorneys may be able to negotiate a favorable plea bargain with the prosecution that will alleviate some of the penalties that would be imposed if otherwise convicted of felony vehicular homicide, felony vehicular manslaughter, or second-degree murder.
Vehicular homicide is a “wobbler” charge that can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony. The charge, “vehicular homicide” occurs when the death of another resulted from ordinary negligence. Neither malice, aforethought, nor an intent to kill is required for an individual to be charged with vehicular homicide. Vehicular homicide cases often pose complex and technical issues. Thus, it is important for California DUI lawyers to be well versed in this area of the law when taking on DUI vehicular homicide cases.
When death occurs because of a drunk driver, the police and the prosecution’s office investigate every aspect of the incident. They gather as much evidence as they can to establish the drunk driver’s guilt so that they can charge the driver with a felony DUI. Skilled California DUI lawyers will also employ their own investigators to reconstruct the incident and conduct forensic research in order to uncover evidence that the drunk driver is innocent of a felony DUI.