A 23-year-old man driving a Lexus SUV was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when he accidentally crashed the vehicle against a median on North Capital Avenue in San Jose. Reports claim that there were up to 6 people in the car that night, 2 of whom were determined dead at the scene, while 3 more were rushed to a local hospital in stable condition. After the accident, law enforcement agents searched the vehicle and found some type of alcohol, thus assuming that the driver had been under the influence at the time of the collision. He was arrested for suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
There is a very particular California law that applies when the driver of a vehicle is suspected of being intoxicated when they accidentally cause the death of others in a car crash. California Penal Code 191.5 (“Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated”) addresses the possibility that an individual who has been drinking, and then causes a fatal accident is guilty of a special kind of negligence. In cases of these types, prosecutors must determine whether they will claim, in court, that a defendant acted with ordinary negligence or with gross negligence.
If ‘gross negligence’ can be proven, then prosecutors must still decide whether they will treat the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony (this is what is known as a ‘wobbler’). If a person is convicted of ordinary vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, they may expect to spend up to 1 year in county jail. However, a conviction on the basis of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated may lead to up to 4 years in state prison. In either case, the convicted party will be forced to surrender their driver’s license for a time and may also anticipate official DUI courses mandated by the state.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a major offense in San Jose. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you might be worried about the future of your driver’s license. Following a DUI arrest, you might be wondering what to do next. Knowing your rights and the next steps can significantly impact the outcome of […]
Navigating the complexities of criminal law in San Jose can be confusing. Many residents often have questions about their rights, the legal process, and the consequences of a criminal charge. Fortunately, understanding these topics is easier with the correct information. At Summit Defense, our criminal defense lawyers are here to help you. Every criminal offense is […]
Being charged with a DUI in California is a serious matter. If you get convicted of a DUI, you spend time in jail, have your license suspended or revoked, and face significant fines and other penalties. A DUI conviction will also appear on your records, which might make it hard for you to secure housing […]