MacGregor & Collins, lLP Press Vehicle Manslaughter Tied to DUI in California

Vehicle Manslaughter Tied to DUI in California

By MacGregor & Collins, LLP March 26, 2013

DUI in California can lead to severe consequences – including a common type of homicide – vehicular manslaughter. In a fatal twist of events, 50 year old Vincent Morales is now being charged with this crime after crashing into a stationery RV – and killing a nearby Timothy Michaud, who was 49. The driver was apparently not under the influence of alcohol, but instead under the influence of a commonly abused drug – methamphetamine.

Morales faces up to one year in jail and one thousand in fines if he is convicted of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter; or a maximum of four years in prison and $10,000 in fines if he's convicted of a felony manslaughter offense.

Morales will not be charged with a hit and run however, given that he stopped at the scene, and also helped to lift the RV off the victim with nearby passersby. Other charges he may however face include possession of methamphetamine.

Common DUI Related Charges:

Hit and Run in California

If a DUI offender is charged with a hit and run, he or she may face the following charges: a maximum of three years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, paying compensation to the victim's loved ones, and a deduction of the driver's license. This is in addition to DUI, vehicular manslaughter and other related charges at the crime scene. The criminal code is filed under Vehicle Code 20001. The breakdown of other standard charges are discussed below as it relates to the state of California.

Possession of Drugs

Possession of a Controlled substance under California Health and Safety Code is penalized by up to one year in jail, or a maximum of three years in prison. Methamphetamine counts as a controlled substance.

Driving Under The Influence

Morales is most likely to be convicted of a felony DUI, which carries its own set of fines. Morales may also face second degree murder charges if the prosecution proved he placed no thought about the consequence of his actions, or if he had no regard for human life. This is known as Watson Murder, but is less common in DUI cases. The repercussions of this charge include up to fifteen years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

In Watson Murder cases relating to DUI however, the prosecution must prove that the offender had a prior offense, and had attended DUI School while learning the consequences and severity of DUI. The outcome of this case however, will only be told by time.

Written by Randy Collins

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