Defenses to Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated in Orange County
CA Penal Code 191.5(b) PC
When charged with a serious crime such as vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, you need an Orange County DUI Manslaughter lawyer that will fight for you using an effective defensive strategy. There are several defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of your charge. Here are some successful defenses that our lawyers at Wallin & Klarich can raise on your behalf:
You were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In order to convict you of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated under California Penal Code section 191.5(b), the prosecution must prove that you drove the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. An experienced defense attorney can argue that the prosecution has not met this burden based on several factors:
- Your Appearance: In order to establish that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police officers will often testify to observable symptoms of intoxication you exhibited during the traffic stop. These include slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, excessive perspiration and slow reaction time. Although these are commonly cited signs of intoxication, they can also be explained by a variety of other factors such as allergies, illness, nervousness and exhaustion. An experienced defense attorney can argue that these symptoms were simply the product of an existing physical condition and not an indication that you were intoxicated.
- Field Sobriety Test (FST): Field sobriety tests or FSTs are designed to reveal how the presence of drugs or alcohol in your system has impaired your body’s motor functions and your ability to drive safely. Since the validity of these tests depends on your own individual balance, coordination, and memory, those with physical or mental disabilities are unfairly judged by a standard held to those who are more capable of performing. It may even be the case that you are normally able to perform these tests, but something unrelated to intoxication made it difficult or impossible for you to perform.
- Breathalyzer Test: A breathalyzer is a device used by the police to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) by measuring the amount of alcohol in your breath. Breathalyzers are not always 100% accurate and results can vary with temperature, body weight, and calibration. An attorney can raise many of these concerns on your behalf and show the judge and jury that such evidence is not conclusive of intoxication.
Your actions were not negligent
In order to convict you of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, the prosecution must prove that you acted with ordinary negligence. This means that you did something that a reasonable person would not have done, or in the alternative, that you failed to do something that a reasonable person would have done. The determination of what is reasonable is left to the jury and will depend on the individual facts of your case. Your defense attorney can argue that your actions under the circumstances were reasonable and therefore not negligent. If this defense is successful, your vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charge can be reduced to a simple DUI.
Your actions were not the cause of death
In order to convict you of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, your actions must have been a substantial factor in causing the death of another human being. If the prosecution cannot prove this causal link between your actions and the death of another, the charges against you will likely be dismissed. Since there are several variables involved in an automobile accident, any one of which could be a substantial factor in causing the victim’s death, an experienced defense attorney can argue that your actions were too far removed to have caused the death of another.
Failure to follow police procedures
Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, you have a constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. In order for the police to honor this right, they must comply with certain formalities and procedures when conducting traffic stops and arrests. These formalities include possessing sufficient “probable cause” to make an arrest, reading you your Miranda rights before a police interrogation, and searching the vehicle only for evidence of the crime for which you were arrested. If the police illegally obtained evidence by failing to follow any one of these constitutional guarantees, your defense attorney can ask the judge to have that evidence excluded and the chances of winning your case will increase significantly.
Orange County vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are looking for an Orange County vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated defense lawyer to represent you, Wallin & Klarich can help. With over 40 years of experience and offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura and Victorville, our highly skilled and professional defense attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation of the facts and passionately argue that your case should be dismissed.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or fill out our intake form. We will be there when you call.