Dublin, CA Vehicular Homicide Lawyers

Confident Trial Lawyers in the Pleasanton, Fremont, Oakland & Surrounding Areas

At Thompson • Garcia Law, A Law Corporation, we have over 65 years of combined experience defending clients in court. We are a team of confident and thorough trial attorneys who will look for every possible avenue to negotiate an advantageous settlement or defense for our client. Especially when you are facing charges as serious as those of vehicular homicide, you will need an experienced and confident trial attorney to defend you fearlessly in court. Further, our lawyers are also experienced working with immigration issues that may come into play in your vehicular homicide case. After being charged with a DUI or vehicular homicide, you could be deported. Rather than risking deportation, turn to our skilled attorneys today.

Call (510) 757-1878 or contact Thompson • Garcia Law, A Law Corporation online for a free consultation to discuss your defense options with a team of experienced Dublin, CA trial lawyers today.

Vehicular Manslaughter Under California Penal Code 192(c)

According to Penal Code 192(c), vehicular manslaughter is defined as driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, not amounting to felony, or driving a vehicle in an unlawful manner while in the commission of a lawful act that could cause death. If the vehicular manslaughter involved the commission of an act that was a felony, the court may charge the defendant with felony-murder, distinguishable from vehicular manslaughter. Additionally, if the defendant allegedly committed vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then they could be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

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Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence

California law categorizes vehicular manslaughter as either gross-negligence vehicular manslaughter or misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Gross-negligence vehicular manslaughter involves the following:

  • the defendant committed a misdemeanor or an infraction, or else committed a lawful act in a manner that might cause death, while driving the vehicle;
  • the act committed was dangerous to human life under the circumstances;
  • the defendant committed that act with gross negligence; and
  • the act caused the death of another person.

Gross negligence occurs when a person acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury, and a reasonable person would have known that this would create such a risk. Note that if the prosecutor cannot show that the defendant acted with gross negligence, then they may only be guilty of misdemeanor (or ordinary) vehicular manslaughter, discussed below.

Vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence is a “wobbler” offense that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. 

If charged as a misdemeanor, a conviction for gross-negligence vehicular manslaughter could result in:

  • misdemeanor probation;
  • up to 1 year in county jail; and/or
  • up to $1,000 in fines.

If charged as a felony, a conviction for gross-negligence vehicular manslaughter could lead to:

  • felony probation;
  • up to 2, 4, or 6 years in California state prison; and/or
  • up to $10,000 in fines.

Misdemeanor Vehicular Manslaughter

Misdemeanor, or ordinary, vehicular manslaughter in California entails the following elements for a charge:

  • the defendant committed a misdemeanor or an infraction, or else committed a lawful act in an unlawful manner, while driving the vehicle;
  • the act committed was dangerous to human life under the circumstances;
  • the defendant acted with ordinary negligence; and
  • the act caused the death of another person.

Note that the key distinction between ordinary vehicular manslaughter and gross-negligence vehicular manslaughter is that ordinary vehicular manslaughter involves ordinary negligence, not gross negligence. PC 192(c)(2) defines ordinary negligence as the failure to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to another.

Ordinary vehicular manslaughter is a misdemeanor punishable by misdemeanor probation, up to 1 year in county jail, and/or up to $1,000 in fines. 

Get Started on Your Defense Today

If you are facing charges in Dublin, CA for vehicular manslaughter, whether gross-negligence or ordinary, you will need an experienced trail attorney to confidently champion your defense. Our team at Thompson • Garcia Law, A Law Corporation has over 65 years of combined experience defending clients, and we will prepare a thorough strategy for trial. For instance, we could argue that you did not act with gross negligence, reducing a felony charge to a misdemeanor; we could also argue that your negligence did not cause the other person’s death or that you were facing a sudden emergency and so had reason to drive your vehicle as you did. Whatever your situation, Thompson • Garcia Law, A Law Corporation can represent you effectively and assertively.

Schedule a free consultation with Thompson • Garcia Law, A Law Corporation online or at (510) 757-1878 today to learn more.

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