Vehicular Homicide California Penal Code 192(c) PC – Prosecution
Were You Involved in a Fatal Car Accident in California?
If you have been charged with vehicular homicide or manslaughter in California after being involved in a fatal car accident, it is important to understand what this crime entails. Our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich want to share with you what the prosecution needs to prove in order to convict you of this offense.
Vehicular Homicide Under the California Penal Code
Under California Penal Code 192 (c)(2), vehicular manslaughter is defined as driving a vehicle with ordinary negligence that results in the unlawful killing of a human being. In order to convict you of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following:
- While driving a vehicle, you committed a misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act in an unlawful manner AND
- The misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act was dangerous to human life under the circumstances of its commission AND
- You committed the misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act with ordinary negligence AND
- The misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act caused the death of another person
Misdemeanor, Infraction or Otherwise Lawful Act
In order to convict you of vehicular homicide under California Penal Code 192(c)(2), the prosecution must prove that you committed a misdemeanor, infraction or otherwise lawful act. The misdemeanor or infraction required for this crime can constitute any number of offenses listed in the California Penal Code and Vehicle Code, such as speeding or talking on your cell phone without the use of a hands free device.
If the act itself is completely legal, you can still be convicted of voluntary homicide if the commission of the act was dangerous to human life under the circumstances.
Ordinary negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm to yourself or another. You act negligently if you do something that an ordinary reasonable person would not have done or if you fail to do something that an ordinary reasonable person would have done in the circumstances you faced. Whether your actions were reasonable is a determination made by the jury.
Causation of Fatal Car Accident
An act causes death if it is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act and the death would not have happened without the act. Although there may be more than one cause of death, if your act is a substantial factor in causing the death of another, this element is met and you could be convicted of vehicular manslaughter.
For example: You are driving to work and in order to avoid being late, you cross a double yellow line and enter into the carpool lane. When making this illegal lane change, you fail to notice a van driving in the same lane and you abruptly cut her off. In order to avoid colliding with your vehicle, the driver of the can slams on his or her brakes causing the vehicle to spin out of control and crash into the highway divider. The driver dies on impact. Although your vehicle never made direct contact with the can, your illegal act of entering the carpool lane was likely a substantial factor in causing the driver’s death.
Contact an Attorney at Wallin & Klarich if you have been Charged with Vehicular Homicide in California
If you or someone you know has been charged with vehicular homicide in California, you need to contact an experienced defense attorney who is dedicated to giving you the best representation possible.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Victorville and West Covina, Wallin & Klarich has successfully represented clients facing charges of vehicular manslaughter for over 40 years. Drawing from extensive experience, our talented defense lawyers will thoroughly review your case and develop an effective defense strategy to win your case.
Let us show you how we protect our own. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or fill out our confidential form. We will be there when you call.