California prosecutors often charge vehicular homicide when someone is killed in an accident. There are two primary grounds for this charge. First, they may allege that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Second, they may allege that the driver acted with negligence or gross negligence.
Vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated generally requires the same proof as a driving while intoxicated charge. The prosecution must prove that the driver was above the legal limit. You have the right to defend on the grounds that you were not intoxicated, that tests were faulty, or that tests violated your constitutional rights.
Negligence and gross negligence include things like improper lane changes, speeding, and failing to stop at a stop sign or red light. Whether felony or misdemeanor charges are brought depends on the level of negligence as well as aggravating factors such as fleeing the scene or causing the accident for financial gain. Even if you are cited in an accident, you still have the right to have the prosecution prove criminal negligence beyond a reasonable doubt.
To schedule a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney serving Serving Shasta, Trinity, Tehama, Siskiyou, and Butte Counties, contact Ryan Birss today.