DUI Gross Vehicular Manslaughter Penalties, Punishment, and Sentencing

California Penal Code 191.5 a  PC or Gross Vehicular Manslaughter is a felony. Depending on the facts of your specific case, you face the following sentence:

  • Four, six, or ten years in the California state prison, or
  • Fifteen years-to-life in prison if you have a prior PC 191.5 conviction or two or more prior DUI convictions.

And if there are any surviving victims who suffer great bodily injury, you face an additional and consecutive three to six-year prison sentence under California Law Penal Code 12022.7 PC great bodily injury statute.

Additional conditions of probation

In addition to the above penalties, the judge may also require you to perform a number of other probation conditions. California probation law authorizes a judge to impose any conditions that are logically related to the crime of which you were convicted.

Some of the most common California DUI probation conditions that may be imposed in connection with a “gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated” conviction include (but are not limited to):

  • a maximum $10,000 fine,
  • victim restitution,
  • possible driver’s license restrictions or suspensions (unless you initiate and win a California DUI DMV hearing),
  • participation in a court-approved California DUI school, and
  • possible community service or other community work.

Finally, if convicted, you face

  • possible professional license restrictions or suspensions, and/or
  • car insurance repercussions (a Penal Code 191.5 a PC conviction will affect your car insurance policy).

California’s three strikes law

Penal Code 191.5 a PC California’s “gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated” law is what’s known as a “serious felony”. This means that in addition to the above penalties, a Penal Code 191.5 a PC conviction will result in a “strike” on your criminal record pursuant to California’s three strikes law.

If you are subsequently convicted of any felony, and have a prior “strike” on your record, you will be referred to as a “second striker,” and your sentence will be twice the term otherwise required by law.

If convicted of a third felony, and you have two prior strikes, you will be referred to as a “third striker” and will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years-to-life in California state prison.

Related Offenses

There are several offenses that may be charged in lieu of or in connection with a Penal Code 191.5(a) PC charge. Some of the most common include (but are not limited to):

Penal Code 191.5(b) California’s “vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated law”

Penal Code 191.5(b) California’s “vehicular manslaughter law” is prosecuted in the same way as Penal Code 191.5 a except that the prosecutor must only prove that you acted with ordinary negligence.

Because you can’t violate Penal Code 191.5 a PC without necessarily also violating Penal Code 191.5(b) PC, the latter is considered a “necessarily included offense” of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

This means that even if prosecutors charge you with PC 191.5(a), a jury could decide to convict you alternatively of the lesser offense of PC 191.5(b).

Can You Explain Penal Code 192(c) California’s vehicular manslaughter law?

If, for example, there is evidence that you were drinking alcohol or taking drugs but that you were not legally “under the influence” prosecutors could alternatively charge you with Penal Code 192(c) California’s vehicular manslaughter law.

Similar to Penal Code 191.5 PC, this law also takes into account your negligence. It just doesn’t require a separate finding of driving under the influence.

Vehicle Code 23153 VC California’s “DUI causing injury” law

Vehicle Code 23153 VC California’s “DUI causing injury” law penalizes driving under the influence and negligently causing another person to suffer an injury.

If, for example, you are charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated…and there is also an injured surviving victim prosecutors could charge you with both offenses. Otherwise, you can’t be convicted of both Penal Code 191.5(b) PC and DUI causing injury because DUI causing injury is a necessarily included offense of Penal Code 191.5 a PC.

Vehicle Code 23152 VC California’s “driving under the influence” law

It bears repeating that before prosecutors can convict you of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, they must first prove that you were DUI. But let’s say you were DUI and were involved in an accident but that the resulting death was not your fault.

Given these facts, Vehicle Code 23152 VC California’s “driving under the influence” law is the charge that prosecutors would likely file or that your California DUI defense attorney would negotiate during a DUI plea bargain.

Don’t wait! Call Steve Brodsky Right NOW for a FREE Consultation. Do not think a DUI is simple.

Authorities will pressure you into revealing damning information, making self-convicting statements, offering a guilty plea…even if you’re innocent. The sheer volume of cases motivates the entire court system to demand criminal defendants plead guilty at the very earliest stage of a case in order to move cases along.

Call NOW for a free consultation with California Law Attorney Steve Brodsky before your arraignment. Your free consultation will give you strong advice into toward your case. Do not automatically plead guilty.

There will be an invitation to discuss your major fears and concerns privately with me. You will be able to ask any and all questions you feel are important to your defense. In the end, you will be confident that we will be able to get you through this crisis.