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What are the penalties for fatal drunk driving crashes?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2020 | Firm News |

Just because a person is educated, with a successful career and a prominent reputation in their workplace and community, does not mean that these aspects of their life can be put into jeopardy due to an irresponsible choice. People in San Diego area already know that drunk driving is against the law. However, they may not be aware of just how damaging a drunk driving conviction can be, especially if the incident led to a fatal motor vehicle accident.

In California, if a person causes a fatal drunk driving accident, they could face vehicular manslaughter charges. If a person drives drunk causing a fatal accident in which the fatality was the proximate result of the DUI, but does not amount to a felony, and the act is not one of gross negligence, they can be convicted with vehicular manslaughter. This can lead to a one-year jail sentence or imprisonment for 16 months, two years or four years.

Finally, there is gross vehicular manslaughter charges. If a person in California is convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, meaning that they killed a person without malice aforethought while drunk driving, and the killing was either the proximate result of a misdemeanor drunk driving offense or the proximate result of a legal act that could result in a fatality in an unlawful manner, and with gross negligence. Such convictions can lead to imprisonment for four, six or 10 years.

It is easy to see how the decision to drive drunk can affect a person for the rest of their life. Imprisonment could lead to a loss of freedom, a lost job and a criminal record and mandatory reporting requirements that could be an impediment to obtaining employment in the future. It is important that if you are facing such charges, that you seek legal advice, which this post does not provide. The earlier you pursue representation, the sooner you can make informed decisions based on the straightforward advice of a professional able to handle complex drunk driving cases in a unique manner.