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Vehicular Manslaughter in Aliso Viejo

You can be charged with vehicular manslaughter if as the driver, you collide with another vehicle and cause a person’s death due to the related injuries. If a person in the vehicle you are driving also dies, you can also be charged.

The main points that the prosecution needs to prove are that you were either driving the vehicle that caused the accident or that you were criminally negligent.

Specific points the prosecution needs to prove

In order to be convicted for vehicular manslaughter in Aliso Viejo and in the rest of California, the prosecution has to prove that the infraction, misdemeanor or unlawful act under California Penal Code Section 192(c):

  • Was the cause of someone’s death
  • Was committed while driving a vehicle
  • Was a danger to human life when it was committed and
  • Was committed due to ordinary negligence (negligence other than that which is caused by being under the influence of drugs or alcohol - brings additional charges)

An example of vehicular manslaughter would be someone running a stop sign at a four way stop in order to avoid getting to work too late. Because of their carelessness, they eventually hit a pedestrian crossing the street that eventually dies because of their accident related injuries. Another example would involve two drivers, where at an intersection, one of the drivers is going at an incredibly fast speed, and before actually doing the necessary steps in order to change lanes, and they do so anyways and crash into the person behind them in lane they are trying to get into. This ends up killing the other driver.

Some common defenses for vehicular manslaughter are that the other party did not die due to the other party’s negligence, and therefore, they are not responsible for their death. Another is that there was no negligence involved in the first place. Gross negligence is even more severe than negligence and occurs when someone acts in a high risk manner and they were aware that doing those actions would result in a high risk situation.

Related offenses

Along with Penal Code Section 192(c) under which you could be charged with Vehicular Manslaughter, you could also be charged with the following:

  • Vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol and with gross negligence, under Penal Code 191.5(a) PC
  • Vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol and without gross negligence under Penal Code 191.5(b) PC

Usually, if the prosecutor cannot convincingly prove to a jury that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol beyond a reasonable doubt, you may instead be convicted under Penal Code 192(c) PC.

It is critically important to have a competent defense attorney - like the attorneys at the Johnson Criminal Law Group - on your side. With experience in DUI, vehicular manslaughter cases, and other high-risk criminal cases, our firm can develop a defense that can save you from spending years of your life in prison.

Call our Orange County based law firm today to have your case evaluated.

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