Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter in California

Vehicular manslaughter is considered a crime of driving a vehicle negligently and directly causing another person’s death.  Unfortunately, many DUI accidents have caused the death of another human being. 

You can also be charged with vehicular manslaugther if a passenger in your vehicle dies while you were breaking the law.  It’s even likely that you could be charged for murder in this type of case. 

Here are the four types of vehicular manslaugther in the state of California and the penalties associated with them:

  • PC 191.5: Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, with gross negligence. Penalty: Up to 1 year county jail, or 4,6 or 10 years state prison. Note: With one or more priors of this or certain other vehicular felonies, 15 years to life in state prison (“Courtney’s Law”).

  • PC 192(c)(1): Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, without intoxication. Penalty: Up to 1 year county jail, or 2,4, or 6 years state prison.

  • PC 192 (c)(2): Vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, without intoxication. Penalty: Up to 1 year county jail.

  • PC 192 (c)(3): Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, without gross negligence. Penalty: Up to 1 year county jail, or 16 months, 2, or 4 years state prison.

What are the steps that someone should take should they find themselves in this type of situation? 

Due to the severity of this type of incident, my advice would be to contact an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer immediately.  There are no ifs, ands, or buts about that.  Talk with someone who has experience in these types of DUI cases.  This lawyer will be able to conduct an independent toxicology analysis and investigation while the information is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

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