Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated in Orange County FAQs
California Penal Code Section 191.5(b) PC
Our knowledgeable attorneys at Wallin & Klarich want to share some common questions we have received regarding vehicular
manslaughter while intoxicated in Orange County.
Is vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charged as a felony or misdemeanor?
Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is considered a “wobbler” in California, which means it can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor offense depending upon the facts and circumstances of your individual case. In making this determination, the prosecution will consider various factors including your prior criminal history, with special attention paid to previous DUI convictions and the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system at the time of the offense.
Is it possible to reduce the charge of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated to a lesser crime?
Yes. If the prosecution is unable to prove all the elements of the crime, the charge may be reduced or dismissed in its entirety. For example, if the prosecution is unable to prove that you were under the influence at the time of the offense, the charge against you may be reduced to the lesser crime of vehicular manslaughter under California Penal Code Section 192(c)(2). Therefore, it is important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney analyze the particular facts of your case and develop an effective defense strategy.
Can I be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated if the person killed was a passenger in my vehicle?
Yes. As long as you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol and your negligent act caused the death of another, it does not matter whether that person was a passenger in your vehicle or the vehicle of another.
What does “ordinary negligence” mean?
In order to be convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, you must have acted with ordinary negligence. 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 in the circumstances, or if you fail to do something that an ordinary reasonable person would have done under the circumstances you faced.
Can my license be suspended if I am convicted for vehicular manslaughter while under the influence?
Yes. Under California Vehicle Code Section 13361(c), the DMV may suspend your driver’s license if you are convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The duration of your suspension will vary depending on the individual facts of your case and your previous criminal history.
How is vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated different from gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated?
While vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is considered a “wobbler” capable of being charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is always charged as a felony offense. Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is charged as a felony because it involves an allegation that you acted with gross criminal negligence, which poses a higher risk of death or bodily harm than ordinary negligence.
If I have been charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, who should I call?
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has over 40 years of experience in successfully representing Southern California residents who have been charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Drawing from extensive years of experience, we are available to answer any questions you have and are willing to go the extra mile in your defense.
If you are facing prosecution for vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, call our talented and professional defense attorneys today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL. We will be there when you call.